Ah, the summer of 2020. The lockdowns, the closures, the masks, and the fear. Will we ever forget it? Probably not. But this is not a blog to dwell on misery and a virus. It’s a blog to look at the positive that has come from the pandemic regarding schools and the possibilities of assembly shows for the 2020-21 year.
So what’s going to happen?
Possibility number one: Schools start cautiously in the the fall with very limited outside visitors. This means assembly shows will be very rare in September, October, and November this year. As the cold weather moves in and flu season starts again the picture of transmission is going to change. Schools may even consider having assembly performers outdoors on the playground area in order to avoid inviting outsiders into their buildings if the weather permits.
Possibility number two: Schools start cautiously but allow special presenters. The considerations of allowing assembly presenters would now mainly concern group sizes. Packing 400 plus kids into an auditorium is not going to be likely until everyone is comfortable and feels safe again. Many assembly performers around the country are planning on becoming classroom visitors, presenting a shortened assembly show in each classroom throughout the day. This idea has promise, but scheduling a dozen or more visits to classrooms over a 5 hour period could be a logistical nightmare. If classrooms remain flexible and teachers understanding to the hurdles then this could be accomplished. The presentations would need to be no more than 15 minutes long too. This idea needs further consideration with some trail and error attempts to work out the details.
Possibility number three: Some school have gigantic gymnasiums where 100 kids at a time could gather, maintaining a safe distance from each other, if social distancing is still required. Multiple presentations could take place or over the course of one or two days. Performing 4-6 shows daily would certainly be exhausting for the presenter, but manageable.
Some summer camps have already explored the idea of socially distanced audiences for school performances. This photo is from a Chicago area presenter just before presenting his educational science show to a summer camp group. Of course, the presenters who travel with the largest props would have an easier time of making this type of arrangement work. Kids in the back need to be able to see as well. And surprise, surprise, when we travel to your school with our assembly shows, we bring a full size van and sometimes even a trailer packed with huge equipment, backdrops and a powerful sound system! We are ready to handle this challenge at your school.
Check out videos of some of our biggest shows on our YouTube channel: