Theatregoers eager to return to Broadway will need to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 before the curtain rises. The Broadway League, the trade association representing producers, theatre owners, and more, announced that all 41 Broadway venues will require vaccines for audience members. Masks will also be required inside the theatre, per current CDC recommendations in the wake of the Delta variant.
The news follows the release of safety procedures made in agreement between the League and Actors’ Equity, the union representing stage performers and stage managers. Those protocols include, among others, that companies are “Fully Vaccinated.”
As is the case with company members and with some out-of-town engagements (like Hamilton’s upcoming run in Los Angeles), exemptions will be made for patrons under 12 and those with either a medical condition or “closely held religious belief” that prevents them from receiving the vaccine. In those instances, the individuals will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test (either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance or an antigen test within six hours).
Tickets for nearly all shows announced to usher in Broadway’s return have been on sale prior to this announcement, some for nearly three months. The League says that theatres will begin notifying all current ticket holders for performances through October about the policy. Changes to the policy for November and beyond will be considered later in the fall.
Speaking about the decision, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, "A uniform policy across all New York City Broadway theatres makes it simple for our audiences and should give even more confidence to our guests about how seriously Broadway is taking audience safety."
The only current Broadway offering—Bruce Springsteen's Springsteen on Broadway—as well as the one on deck (Pass Over, beginning next week) have already had vaccine requirements in place for audience members.