My name is Mary Kate Connor, and I am a sophomore at Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn Virginia. I am also a member of our performing arts company.
The recent changes to policies dictated by EO72 have caused a detrimental effect on our spring show. Due to the new rules, we are not allowed to have an audience of over 50 people, INCLUDING our cast and crew. This is because performing arts is categorized as “social gatherings” instead of what theater really is, which is entertainment.
These new policies are extremely unfair and unjust, considering that sports like cheer and basketball not only are allowed to practice without masks, but they are also allowed to have spectators of up to 100 people per school.
There is no data or studies suggesting that live theater poses a greater risk of the spread of COVID-19. We have spent so much time, money, and made so many sacrifices to make this show possible. Theater is just as important as athletics, and it is the more influential part to countless student’s lives.
I beg that you join myself and my peers in the fight against these heartbreaking rules. Any form of support would be greatly appreciated!
Mary Kate Connor