Rhode Island’s Major Performance Venues, Groups Team Up for Mask and Vaccination Requirements
PPAC, Trinity Rep, the Gamm, United Theatre and others signed on.
Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Rhode Island, nine local theater venues and performing arts groups have instituted mask mandates and vaccination requirements for audiences, according to press releases sent by the organizations on August 25. Many of the venues and groups are only beginning to resume in-person performances.
“Rehearsals for our first show of Season 37 begin next week, and we are beyond excited to experience live theater with our community once again,” says Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre’s Managing Director Amy Gravell in the company’s release. “In opening our doors to the public, our top priority remains the well-being of our audiences, performers, staff, and volunteers — as well as protecting our industry as a whole. We will be updating our health and safety protocols throughout the season so that everyone can feel as relaxed and safe as possible for what promises to be a very special season.”
In addition to a universal mask mandate, audience members at Festival Ballet Providence, the Gamm Theatre, Island Moving Company, Providence Performing Arts Center, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School, Trinity Repertory Company, United Theatre, Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium and Wilbury Theatre Group will be required to show proof of full vaccination (at least fourteen days following the final dose). Otherwise, patrons must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the last seventy-two hours or proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within the last six hours. (For most venues, this includes children ineligible for vaccination.) Visit the individual websites for additional requirements.)
Some venues are taking additional precautions; Trinity Repertory Company, for example, has a vaccine mandate in place for all staff, artists and volunteers, including the cast of A Christmas Carol. The theater also uses MicroShield 360, a long-lasting antimicrobial coating solution, and it uses MERV-13 air filters in its facilities.
According to Josh Short, artistic director of Wilbury Theatre Group, ““We place the safety of our audiences, artists, staff, and volunteers above all else. Like so many others, we’re very much looking forward to the day when it’s safe to lift all restrictions and see the smiling faces of our audiences again. However, the priority remains ensuring the safety of all persons who walk through our door. We’re glad to be part of this coalition meant to create a safe and as universal an experience as possible for Rhode Island audiences.”