Boston-area theaters to require vaccine or negative test

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – More than a dozen theater companies around the Greater Boston area collectively announced Thursday that they will require all performers, staff, and patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test at indoor performances for at least the next several months.

The policy — plus a requirement for masks inside theaters — will take effect immediately and remain in place through Oct. 31, the theaters said, noting that the requirement “will be reevaluated as the situation evolves.” Theater officials said ArtsBoston’s Audience Outlook Monitor survey found that half of respondents deem proof of vaccination or a negative test a prerequisite for them to feel comfortable attending a performance and 80 percent said it would make them more likely to go to indoor events.

“We at The Huntington, along with our colleagues, are eager to welcome back audiences to live performances this fall, and we are prioritizing everyone’s health and well-being in order to safely reopen,” Michael Maso, managing director of The Huntington, said. “These measures will provide multiple layers of protection in our theatres — it’s what our patrons want, and it’s an essential part of our broader responsibility as public-facing institutions.”

Fourteen theaters in the region together announced the policy: Actors’ Shakespeare Project, American Repertory Theater, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Central Square Theater, The Front Porch Arts Collective, The Gamm Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Greater Boston Stage Company, The Huntington, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Moonbox Productions, SpeakEasy Stage Company, and Wellesley Repertory Theatre.

Another theater, the Boch Center, separately announced a similar requirement.

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