Broadway lifts audience mask requirement beginning July 1

The Broadway League, founded in 1930, as the national trade association for the Broadway industry, announced today that the owners and operators of all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City will adopt a “mask optional” policy for the month of July, but audience members are still encouraged to wear masks when attending the more than 30 shows performing on Broadway this summer.

Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, said, “Millions of people enjoyed the unique magic of Broadway by watching the 75th Tony Award Ceremony recently. Millions more have experienced Broadway LIVE in theatres in New York City and throughout the US since we reopened last fall. We’re thrilled to welcome even more of our passionate fans back to Broadway in the exciting 22-23 season that has just begun.”

A letter (obtained by Deadline) to members of Actors’ Equity Association – the labor union representing American actors and stage managers in the theater – stated that The Broadway League’s decision to adopt a “mask optional” policy for audience members beginning in July was “made unilaterally, without input” from Equity, whose “input was not sought” by Broadway producers and theater owners, and that unions “were only given advance notice a couple of hours before the announcement.”

The letter from Equity further noted, “We are continuing to negotiate with the League around ventilation standards in rehearsal spaces and theaters – including onstage and backstage areas.” It also reminded members that the League’s decision on audience mask mandates “does not change the current protocols for members backstage.”

Following The Broadway League announcement, producers of the Broadway revival of American Buffalo, playing at Circle in the Square Theatre, released a statement requiring audiences to be masked through the show’s closing date of July 10. The statement reads, “Due to the close proximity of the audience to the actors as a result of the intimate size of the theater and the staging in the round, the production will continue to mandate audiences to wear masks in this space, despite the recent industry announcement of masking-optional across other Broadway theaters beginning July 1st.”

Audience masking protocols for August will be announced by The Broadway League in mid-July and will evaluated be on a monthly basis as it continues to monitor the science. For updates, visit The Broadway League website.


  1. The Broadway production of The Minutes, playing at Studio 54, has also announced that it will continue to require audiences to wear masks through the show’s final performance on Sunday, July 24.


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