The curtains are finally going up!
After months and months of inactivity, and dark, empty stages, Theatre Philadelphia and more than thirty regional theaters have announced a new policy that will welcome audiences back to theaters to enjoy shows in a safe and comfortable environment.
Next month, the curtains will finally be rising as theaters prepare for their grand return to the stage for in-person, indoor productions thanks to a new audience COVID-19 Vaccine and Mask Policy.
The theaters include the largest in the region to some of the more intimate theater companies, including Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Theatre Exile, 11th Hour Theatre Company, 1812 Productions, Curio Theatre Company, EgoPo Classic Theater, Fringe Arts (which has already implemented the policy), The Hum’n’bards Theatre Troupe, Temple Theaters and Theatre Ariel. For a full list of participating theaters go to www.theatrephiladelphia.org.
According to Theatre Philadelphia Executive Director LaNeshe Miller-White, the new policy includes asking theater audiences to be fully vaccinated, or provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within a certain time period ahead of showtime.
Additionally, audiences will be required to wear masks following the current policy of the City of Philadelphia for indoor performances where all audiences are not vaccinated.
“I see this regional announcement as a big signal that theater is back,” said Miller-White. “We’re finally at the stage where we have season announcements and rehearsals happening. Our hope with these policies is that we can keep our sector’s doors open and produce in-person theater safely.
“Other cities like New York and Chicago have also adopted this policy, and I hope in the near future other cities will as well.
“And although still very cautiously optimistic,” she adds, “I am the most confident that our industry is on the upswing than I’ve been at any other point in the pandemic.”
Appointed to the leadership position last August, Miller-White is a graduate of Temple University, and has worked as the Performance in Public Spaces Grants recipient. She is also a Philadelphia Arts and Business Council Designing Leadership Program graduate.
In conclusion, Miller-White insists that “anything that lowers risk to our audiences or workers – both in front of and behind the scenes — and helps support theater in Philadelphia, is most welcome.
“And our sincerest hope for the future is that we can get back to offering our lively theater community the same quality performances as we did before COVID-19 by making theater work for everyone to enjoy without fear.”