Things remain complicated for performing arts venues, especially in states like New South Wales where despite opening up in a limited capacity earlier in the year, were forcibly shut down for an extended period of time due to the latest COVID-19 delta wave. This is not surprising, given hundreds of people sitting down in close proximity to one another doesn’t really follow what one would call “social distancing”.
A number of theatres in Sydney have today made the following joint statement, unifying their messaging around COVID SAFE procedures, vaccination requirements and mask requirements. You can read the full statement below:
This joint statement by theatres in Sydney acknowledges the significant and specific impacts that COVID-19 pandemic has had on the performing arts industry around the world, and specifically in Sydney during extended periods of lockdown. This impact extends to our artists, audiences, employees, partners, donors, funders and other stakeholders.
We are committed to re-opening and operating to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our stakeholders.
We are committed to the development and implementation of COVID-Safe policies that meet or exceed the conditions set out in Public Health Orders (PHOs) as released from time to time by the NSW Government Health Department.
We believe as a collective of theatres operating in Sydney that consistency across theatre venues provides certainty and security to our artists, audiences, employees, partners, donors, funders and other stakeholders that is beneficial for the sector as a whole as well as individual theatre companies and producers, both large and small.
With this in mind, we will require all visitors to our venues to be fully vaccinated while on-site through to 31 December 2021. Please note that individuals under the age of 16 are excluded from this requirement.
We will further require that masks are mandatory while in theatre auditoriums and indoor spaces (except when you are eating and drinking). This is regardless of further movements in the PHO (including a possible relaxation of double dose requirements for those attending public gatherings).
Individuals aged between 12 and 15 are required to wear a fitted mask at all times in our theatres and indoor spaces. Masks are strongly recommended for individuals aged under 12.
These settings will be reviewed and relevant changes made to our 2022 policies as required.
We are looking forward to welcoming artists and audiences back to our venues and to being able to once again produce and present exceptional and memorable live theatre on our stages.
Names of signatories to the joint statement:
Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir St Theatre, Darlinghurst Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Flight Path Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Hayes Theatre Co, Kings Cross Theatre, Red Line Productions, Seymour Centre, Sydney Theatre Company