Broadway will drop mask authorization starting July 1
Broadway theaters will be allowed to drop their mask-wearing duties starting July 1, the Broadway League announced Tuesday.
The federation described the new policy as a “mask option” and said it would be reevaluated monthly.
Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League. “This has not been an easy decision – there are more people who would rather wear a mask than a mask, but there are still many who would – and we encourage anyone with any concerns to wear a mask. their.”
St. Martin said theater owners will continue to meet weekly to assess the health situation, and are ready to re-apply the duty if necessary. “We’ll see how it goes,” she said.
Broadway public health protocols have played a huge role in the performing arts, as many other organizations have taken their cues from major theaters. Broadway theaters have imposed vaccination bans before New York City does the same for restaurants, gyms, and other indoor performances, and then maintain their rules long after the city stopped asking them.
Wearing a mask has become part of the theater-going experience this season: staff wearing signs lined the aisles reminding patrons of the request, and mask-wearing reminders have been added to the announcements pre-show routines about turning off cell phones and banning photography. When theaters reopened, some did not sell food and drink to avoid obstacles to wearing masks; The current consumption of soft drinks is creating a noticeable loophole for those who do not like to wear masks.
Several other performing arts venues, including many Off Broadway theaters, continue to require proof of vaccinations and make face masks mandatory, and public transit in New York continues to request wear masks indoors, even though compliance is dropping. But many other corners of society, including domestic air travel, have quit the mask quest and conditions in the city appear to be improving: Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday that the city’s Covid-19 alert level has gone from high to moderate.
There are currently 27 shows running at 41 Broadway theaters.
The four nonprofits that run six of the Broadway theaters have been responsible for vaccines longer than the commercial landlords who run most theaters. But no nonprofit currently has a show running on Broadway, and there are no plans to resume production on Broadway until after Labor Day.
The company, which is scheduled to begin performing the revival of the Broadway musical “1776” in September, plans to review its protocols monthly, according to spokeswoman Jessica Johnson. , who said it was too early to determine the rules for this fall. This nonprofit is continuing to maintain the masking mission for its current Off Broadway shows.
Other nonprofits operating on Broadway, which plan to begin showings in the fall, said it was too early to know what their safety procedures would be like then.
Public reaction to the mask option policy is predictable, polarizing, with some cheering for what they see as an overdue step, and others fleeing what they consider reckless. .
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, a regular Broadway theatergoer as a Tony voter and professor of theater studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said he will continue to wear a mask when he sees the shows. performances. “It’s important when you have everyone that tightly packed together, to control the flow of germs in the air at a time when we don’t know what the long-term effects of Covid will be,” he said. ” he said.