Theaters to demand masks, proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for indoor performances
The American Repertory Theater and Central Square Theater have joined a dozen other stages in Greater Boston to announce Covid policies for their indoor performances: proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test is needed for all artists, staff members and audience members, and masks are required to be worn.
The policies – the same as what’s required on Broadway and in Washington, D.C., and Chicago – are in place at least through Oct. 31, according to a Thursday email from the 14-member group.
“We’re committed to creating a culture of care,” says Central Square Theater executive director Catherine Carr Kelly, also co-vice president of the New England Area Theaters organization. “All of our companies are fully vaccinated.”
Mark Lunsford, artistic producer at the ART, said the rules were adopted “after deep consideration … recognizing that the vaccines are now widely available and free.”
The Central Square Theater plans a production of “Queens Girl In the World” to run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 31. The ART’s first indoor event is a showcase for tap dancer Ayodele Casel called “Chasing Magic” scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 9.
Cambridge’s Moonbox Productions and The Front Porch Arts Collective, which is in residence at the Central Square Theater, are co-signers of the restrictions, along with the Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Charlestown, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and The Huntington. Also signed on are the Gloucester Stage Co., Greater Boston Stage Co. in Stoneham, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Wellesley Repertory Theatre and The Gamm Theatre in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Other companies are expected to sign on in the coming weeks, according to an email sent by Nicholas Peterson, director of marketing at the Central Square Theater, and Temple Gill of The Huntington.
An ArtsBoston’s Audience Outlook Monitor survey from Aug. 9-13 had 80 percent of respondents indicating that proof of vaccination would make them more likely to attend indoor events and 50 percent saying proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test was a must. The surveys also show that the coronavirus delta variant is on people’s minds: In June, only 18 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t attend an indoor event that week, but that rose to 39 percent in the August surveys.