Theatre Washington, in coordination with its partner theaters, has announced an update and extension of the previously implemented COVID-related safety policies at theater venues across the Washington, DC, region.
As of September 1, 2022, DC-area theaters will continue to require mask-wearing for audiences inside the theater, except while eating or drinking in designated locations. The use of N95 masks is encouraged. This requirement will remain in place indefinitely, and Theatre Washington will continue to monitor public response and provide updates as appropriate.
Amy Austin, president and CEO of Theatre Washington, explained why the organization’s unified policy no longer includes proof of vaccination:
“Theaters are still leading with safety first, so we encourage and want everyone to be vaccinated. And by and large, the population has reached a higher vaccination level than when we started requesting vaccination information with the unified policy back in August of 2021.
“Now, going forward, we’re moving to the unified policy of mask only, so most if not all of the theaters in the area will still be requiring masks — although some organizations will continue to keep the vaccination policy.
“On Theatre Washington’s website, we will denote which theaters are requiring both vaccination and masks and other things. Some have required, for example, N95 masks. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update as needed.”
For theaters’ current safety requirements and policy details, visit the Theatre Washington COVID-safety web page.
Through collaborative partnerships and programs, Theatre Washington supports the Washington, DC-area’s professional theater community to celebrate artistic achievement, strengthen the theatrical workforce, support institutional growth and advancement, and cultivate collective action. Theatre Washington’s core programs include the Helen Hayes Awards, Theatre Week, Theatre Summit, Theatre Work, and the Taking Care Fund.
Originally published May 16, 2022:
DC-area theaters unite to extend COVID mask and vax policies
Mask-wearing and proof of vaccination for artists, staff, and audiences will be required at least through July 31, 2022.
Theatre Washington, in coordination with its partner theaters, announces an extension to the previously implemented and updated policies requiring vaccination and mask-wearing at theater venues across the Washington, DC, region. Policies will now remain in place until at least July 31, 2022.
Theaters across the region are continuing to unite to provide the highest level of public safety for their audiences, artists, staff, and volunteers. Patrons must show proof that they are fully vaccinated (as defined by each theater) at the time of their entry. Patrons may display proof of vaccination with a physical copy of their vaccination card and ID, and theaters may extend other options to provide proof of vaccination as detailed on their websites. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theater, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.
Theaters will offer exemptions for those who are not vaccinated, such as children who are recently or not yet eligible, people with certain medical conditions preventing vaccination, or those with closely held religious beliefs. These patrons must provide proof of a timely negative COVID-19 test—as defined by each venue—before the performance start time.
In late March 2022, Theatre Washington and Limelight Insights by Shugoll, a national marketing research company headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, conducted a survey about when and if regional theatergoers wanted the current mask and vaccination requirements in theaters to end. Over three-quarters of respondents (77%) were very negative about eliminating the vaccination requirement and the majority (53%) were not in favor of ending the mask requirement.
DC theatergoers not yet ready to take off masks, says new survey (March 29, 2022, news story)
It’s still not time for theaters to quit mask and vax requirements (March 22, 2022, DC Theater Arts editorial)
DC-area theaters unite to extend COVID vax and mask requirements (January 11, 2022, news story)