Milwaukee’s performing arts organizations will require COVID-19 vaccinations or proof of a negative test within 72 hours of events for all audience members ages 12 and up who attend indoor performances beginning in September.
“The health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff remain the top priority for all of us in the Milwaukee performing arts community,” Marcus Performing Arts Center President and Chief Executive Officer Kendra Whitlock Ingram said. “Our industry faced tremendous challenges and financial devastation over the past 18 months, and this precautionary step will give us the ability to stay in business and ensure live performances can continue safely throughout the city.”
The decision is being made with the support of the Milwaukee Health Department and in alliance with other organizations including Summerfest, The Pabst Theater Group, Milwaukee Film and the larger Milwaukee arts community.
“I applaud the efforts of our performing arts partners to keep their audiences and performers safe,” Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said. “The only way for us to move out of the pandemic and get back to doing the things we love is for more people to be vaccinated. I am grateful our partners have made the tough decisions to protect our residents so we can all enjoy Milwaukee’s performing arts.”
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Performing arts organizations following these COVID-19 precautions include Black Arts MKE, First Stage, Florentine Opera, Marcus Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Present Music and Skylight Music Theatre.
Exact protocols may vary by organization. Patrons are encouraged to contact individual organizations for details or questions regarding policies. The organizations will offer refunds for previously purchased tickets. Visit their individual websites or call their box offices for details.
Vaccination and testing requirements for audiences align with precautions taken by others in the performing arts industry across the country, including Broadway theaters in New York City and more than 65 venues within The League of Chicago Theaters that recently announced similar protocols.
“Creating a unified safety policy for our organizations follows the guidance from local and national health experts, and more importantly, it means we’re doing what’s best for our audiences to help reduce their risk of illness while keeping the arts community healthy, safe and protected,” Milwaukee Repertory Theater Executive Director Chad Bauman said.
For more information on individual organization policies and ticket refunds, go to:
- Black Arts MKE: blackartsmke.org/season
- First Stage: firststage.org/safety
- Florentine Opera: florentineopera.org/covid-19
- Marcus Performing Arts Center: marcuscenter.org/mpac-guide-reopening
- Milwaukee Ballet: milwaukeeballet.org
- Milwaukee Chamber Theatre: milwaukeechambertheatre.org/safety
- Milwaukee Film / Oriental Theater: mkefilm.org/oriental-theatre/about/oriental-theatre-covid-protcols
- Milwaukee Repertory Theater: milwaukeerep.com/covid-19-update-center
- Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra: mso.org/patron-alerts
- Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra: myso.org/myso-covid-policy-audiences-8-31-21
- Pabst Theater Group: pabsttheater.org/plan-your-visit/mask-policy
- Present Music: presentmusic.org
- Skylight Music Theatre: skylightmusictheatre.org/about/health-and-safety-protocols