Broadway reopens in 1 week: Don’t forget your proof of vaccination, masks and negative COVID-19 tests for kids

Sep 8, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


With only a week until Broadway reopens to full capacity, ticketholders are likely starting to finalize plans for those first-week performances.

This year, you need to prepare more than your dinner reservations and outfits; Broadway is requiring proof of vaccinations, mask-wearing regardless of vaccination status and negative COVID-19 tests for any children in attendance.

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Back in July, New York City‘s Broadway announced that proof of vaccinations and masks would be required to attend all performances through October 2021.

Guests will need to be fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or at least 14 days after a single-dose vaccine) by a Food and Drug Administration- or World Health Organization-authorized vaccine and must show proof of such upon entering the theater.

“All 41 Broadway theatres in New York City will require vaccinations for audience members, as well as performers, backstage crew, and theatre staff, for all performances through October 2021,” the Broadway League said in a press release. “Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theatre, except while eating or drinking in designated locations.”

Those under the age of 12 or anyone who cannot be vaccinated due to medical or religious reasons must show results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance to attend. However, this will be dependent on the theater, as the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall said they “plan to bar them for now.”

Related: A beginner’s guide to New York City

The 41 major theaters in the city shut down back on March 12, 2020, for what was supposed to be a four-week suspension. At the time, 31 productions were running, including eight shows in previews and another eight in rehearsals. Sadly, some of those shows won’t return. Gone for good are “Mean Girls,” “Hangmen,” Disney’s “Frozen” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

However, there are some exciting shows reopening (and even a few new additions) throughout September and into October. Among those returning with full-capacity shows on Sept. 14 are “Hadestown,” “Waitress,” “Wicked,” “The Lion King,” “Chicago” and “Hamilton.” Newcomers “Pass Over” and “Lackawanna Blues” will also offer full-capacity showings on Sept. 14.

Other shows plan to reopen or debut later in September and into October; the longest-running show on Broadway, “The Phantom of the Opera,”  resumes performances starting Oct. 22.

“Come From Away” will return to Broadway on Sept. 22, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Broadway.com)

Broadway’s highly anticipated return is an exciting step back toward normalcy for musical lovers, and the new policies in place offer a way to enjoy the shows we’ve waited more than a year to see while minimizing the risk of the continued coronavirus pandemic.

Now that New York City requires proof of vaccination for most indoor activities, the vaccination mandate is standard procedure. However, requiring kids to show proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours or a negative antigen test taken within six hours is a potentially large hurdle for families hoping to take their little ones to the theater — and keep in mind that some theaters are banning kids under 12 altogether.

These policies will be in place for all performances through at least October, but there’s a chance the requirements will be extended as the delta variant continues to surge in the U.S. and new variants emerge.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.

Featured photo by alanamckinney7/Twenty20.

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