CHICAGO: Amid a surge of the COVID Delta variant, the League of Chicago Theatres has announced a growing coalition of more than 65 performing arts venues and producers across the Chicagoland area that have agreed upon COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirements for audiences through the end of 2021. Going into effect by Sept. 1, indoor productions will require audience members to provide proof of vaccination or negative test certification upon entry as well as a requirement to wear masks.
On Tuesday, the city of Chicago also announced the return of a city-wide mask mandate, even for those full vaccinated, when indoors in public. The mask mandate is set to go into effect on Aug. 20.
“The arts and cultural community is embedded in the fabric of Chicago,” said League of Chicago Theatres executive director Deb Clapp in a statement. “Not all of the League’s more than 200 member theatres will be able to open this fall. 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 participating venues as well as their performers, backstage crew, and staff will comply with the vaccination requirements and testing protocols. The organizations will also notify ticket holders for performances through the end of December 2021 to make sure they are aware of the new policies. Individual organizations will also add venue-specific guidance and requirements to their respective websites.
Protocols were developed by the coalition in consultation with public health officials, and they will be regularly reviewed alongside the evolving scientific guidance to determine if certain protocols must be extended or if they can be relaxed. Among many others, companies included in the coalition include Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Neo Futurists, the Second City, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater, and Writers Theatre.
Additional details, including venue-specific requirements, can be found on individual theatre websites, which will specify the COVID-related preventative measures they have in place for the safety of audiences and artists.
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