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Proof of Vaccinations will have to be required.
Last Edit: ShowGoer 02:06 pm EDT 07/23/21
Posted by: ShowGoer 02:01 pm EDT 07/23/21
In reply to: re: Broadway’s Reopening Fears Amid COVID-19: “There’s So Much We Still Don’t Know” (THR) - mikem 01:04 pm EDT 07/23/21

True, it is impossible to know how this plays out, but…
With even the previously ambivalent governor of Alabama, the least-vaccinated state in the nation - 76-year-old GOP Gov. Kay Ivey, saying just today “It’s Time to Start Blaming the Unvaccinated Folks” (the current lead story on CNN)…. I think it’s clear that for now, Broadway needs to reopen for the vaccinated only, same as Springsteen and Pass Over have done.
It’s unfortunate for those who can’t get vaccinated yet, whether due to underlying health/autoimmune issues, deeply-held religious beliefs, or (at the moment) not having a vaccine available due to being under the age of 12 – and maybe there’s some way no one’s devised yet to make exceptions to people who can prove they fall into one of those categories as long as they sign a liability waiver.

Frankly, when it comes to children, there are 3 or 4 shows that I don’t know how they would survive under “vaccinated-only” circumstances even if full audience capacity is allowed and the audiences come roaring back (Aladdin, The Lion King, Wicked, and maybe Phantom) – but everyone says forcing a child to stay masked for 3 hours is a logistical impossibility, so I’m not sure what their options are… maybe those are the only shows that actually do put separate vaccinated/unvaccinated sections in place (an idea of Charlotte St Martin’s that sounds like an unfeasible nightmare, but that might be necessary for just the family-friendly shows).

But on the whole, Broadway needs to leave the unvaccinated behind for now if the industry is to have any chance of surviving. There will probably still be occasional shutdowns (as seen this week at Shakespeare in the Park less than 2 weeks into performances), but that’s about what’s going on backstage and not about the safety of the audience. In this no-win situation it’s not about what’s ideal or what’s the most ethical, but what’s the least-bad, least-unethical option; if Broadway reopens at full capacity, as it needs to do, and doesn’t require proof of vaccinations, they’re as much at risk of contributing to possible spread of the virus as the unmasked in Alabama are right now. Hopefully, by this winter, when more of the country is vaccinated, when vaccines are on the way for children, when the existing vaccines have been officially approved and are perhaps federally mandated, and if there are no more deadly variants, maybe then theater and other businesses like it can let up on the breaks and ease the more stringent requirements.

But most people I know won’t go back to the theatre UNLESS the theatres are requiring proof of vaccination. (And I also know just as many adults who, even being vaccinated, would never sit indoors watching a show if they have to wear a mask as I do those who plan to continue wearing theirs indoors as a precaution). So for most of these shows, if they want to be around in 2022, or for the business to even come bounding back in general without having to shut down again, they need to do what Springsteen and Pass Over are doing. It’s less than perfect, but it’s not discriminatory, it’s about safety and common sense.
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