A sign posted outside Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society has partnered with the American Guild of Musical Artists to hire a team of medical professionals to create safety recommendations around reopening theaters. 

The American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents artists working in opera, choruses and dance, and SDC, which represents its members Off-Broadway, on Broadway and elsewhere, have hired Dr. Mark Cunningham-Hill, Dr. Laura S. Welch and Dr. Stephen J. Anderson, to identify and address health and safety issues related to COVID-19. Though the two unions are focused on different art forms, they both represent directors and choreographers and thus have similar concerns, said Laura Penn, executive director of SDC. 

“Many of our members cross over,” Penn said. “So there’s synergy that takes place there.”

The doctors, whose expertise ranges from epidemiology to sports medicine, began work Monday, Penn said. Once the recommendations are finalized, with some common work for both unions and others specific to each union, SDC will use them to evaluate reopening plans submitted by theaters. 

This joins efforts from other unions including Actors’ Equity, which recently released the initial reopening guidelines established by epidemiologist Dr. David Michaels.