Coalition requires vaccinations & other precautions

 

 

 

A large number of Chicago-area theaters, dance and performing arts companies announced they will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative tests, and masks for audience members, at least through the end of 2021.

 

A large number of Chicago-area theaters, dance and performing arts companies, led by the League of Chicago Theatres, announced Tuesday morning they will require COVID-19 precautions including proof of vaccination or negative tests, and masks for audience members, at least through the end of 2021.

According to a statement from the League, a coalition of more than 65 theaters and arts producers will require proof of vaccination or in some instances a negative COVID-19 test for entry, as well as face coverings, though protocols will vary by theater. According to the statement, “the unified COVID-19 protection protocol” will go into effect Sept. 1 for all indoor productions, and will include Loop theaters run by Broadway in Chicago.

The coalition includes 16th Street Theater, A Red Orchid Theatre, About Face Theatre, Aguijón Theatre, Albany Park Theatre Project, American Blues Theater, Apollo Theater Chicago, Artemesia Theatre, Artistic Home, Aston Rep Theatre Company, Athenaeum Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, Babes with Blades, Black Button Eyes Productions, Bluebird Arts, Brightside Theatre, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, Chicago Humanities Festival, the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA), Chicago Magic Lounge, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, Chicago Youth Shakespeare, Court Theatre, First Floor Theatre, First Folio Theater, Goodman Theatre, Greenhouse Theatre Center, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Hell in a Handbag, Her Story Theatre, High Concept Labs, House Theatre of Chicago, International Voices Project, the Joffrey Ballet, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Marriott Theatre, Midsommer Flight, the Neo Futurists, the New Coordinates, Northlight Theatre, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Oil Lamp Theater, Old Town School of Folk Music, Paramount Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop, Pivot Arts, Playmakers Laboratory, Porchlight Music Theatre, Pridearts, Promethean Theatre Ensemble, Raven Theatre, Red Tape Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Saint Sebastian Players, Saltbox Theatre Collective, Second City, Shattered Globe Theatre, Skokie Theatre, Stage Left Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Theatre Wit, Three Brothers Theatre, Timeline Theatre Company, UrbanTheater Company, Victory Gardens Theater, WildClaw Theatre, Williams Street Repertory Theatre and Writers Theatre.

Where negative tests are accepted, audience members must provide proof of a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours of the performance start time. This includes accommodations for children under 12 and people with medical conditions or religious beliefs preventing them from being vaccinated.

 


Seats sit empty at Broadway in Chicago's dormant James M. Nederlander Theatre in June 2020 in Chicago. The theater will reopen with "Paradise Square" in November.
Seats sit empty at Broadway in Chicago's dormant James M. Nederlander Theatre in June 2020 in Chicago. The theater will reopen with "Paradise Square" in November. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

 


 

In addition, Lyric Opera of Chicago made a separate announcement Tuesday morning that the Lyric would require proof of full vaccination for all audience members, and that masks would be required in the opera house. According to the announcement, children under the age of 12 who are not currently eligible for vaccination presently will not be admitted to performances. Those who have purchased children’s tickets for the season may exchange them or get a refund. Lyric’s main stage productions will be performed at full-length, including intermissions, and houses will be seated at full capacity. Lyric is also introducing virtual streams of the season’s productions for ticket holders as an alternative to attending in person.

The opera company encourages the use of the mobile app MyBindle, which stores photo ID and COVID-19 vaccination proof. Audience members can also provide a photo ID and valid vaccine record for entry.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association also made a separate announcement, updating health protocols for Symphony Center. Audience members must have proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test and will be required to wear masks.

In the announcement, the CSOA also said that tickets for fall and holiday programming would go on sale 10 a.m. Aug. 19. Fall programming begins with music director Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Sept. 23, as well as a Sept. 2 concert with Herbie Hancock.

Across the coalition, specific venue requirements can be found on the organizations’ websites.

Some of Chicago’s nonprofit theaters have already opened, including the Goodman Theatre with “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play.” The dinner circus production Teatro ZinZanni has reopened at the Cambria Hotel in the Loop.

The first big touring musical hosted by Broadway in Chicago is slated to be “Rent” at the CIBC Theatre Oct. 5-10.

At Lyric Opera, “Sunday in the Park with Lyric’s Rising Stars” will be an outdoor production at the end of August in Millennium Park. The season opener on its main stage in the Civic Opera House will be Giuseppe Verdi’s “Macbeth” from Sept. 17.

But not all Chicago theaters will be able to open this fall, acknowledged League of Chicago Theatres executive director Deb Clapp.

“The arts and cultural community is embedded in the fabric of Chicago. Not all of the League’s more than 200 member theaters will be able to open this fall,” she said in the statement. “We are pleased that many members of our vibrant performing arts community that will be opening have come together to craft a unified response to this crisis so that audiences can once again experience the joy of live performance without future disruption.”

The announcements follow others in the arts and performing arts industries. Concert promoter Live Nation confirmed recently it will require vaccinations or recent COVID-19 tests for entry to all of its shows and venues.

 

August 18, 2021