COVID 19 Health and Safety Guidelines

Congratulations, Connecticut.

We’ve been distancing, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated. As of May 10, we are in pretty great shape and can begin to open our doors and invite each other in our homes!

We are listening. For the past 12 months, the Playhouse has been participating in Wolf Brown’s Audience Outlook Monitor, an international collaboration between top researchers, funders, service organizations, and hundreds of cultural organizations, so that we may make informed decisions about how and when to re-open. (Thank you to all who responded and continue to respond to our email invitations to participate in this survey). That means we are working closely with our peers to devise best practices. And, we’ve been listening to our Playhouse community. You’ve told us these are most important factors for you in order to return to theater indoors:

  • Low infection rates
  • High vaccination rates
  • Strict health and safety protocols, especially wearing masks

Together, we can bring live theater back to the Playhouse. We made a promise to you to listen and follow the science, along with the guidelines of local officials and the State of Connecticut. We are asking you, our audiences, to help us keep each other safe. Below are the steps we are taking, and those you can make for a safe and healthy experience.

Playhouse Protocols

The Playhouse is up-to-date on all of our HVAC technology and has serviced, cleaned and upgraded our air filtering to MERV-13 filters in all air supply units. The Playhouse HVAC systems also maintain a high air turnover, which keeps a high level of fresh air in our buildings at all times.

Our systems meet or exceed all CDC recommendations for minimizing exposure to COVID-19.

Five key employees have completed COVID-19 Compliance Officer training, and the Playhouse continues to get best-in-class advice from leading epidemiologists.

  • Should cases rise to 20 new cases per 100,000 residents, we will open the theater with strict, six-foot physically-distanced seating, with all patrons, staff, and volunteers wearing masks.
  • At 10 cases per 100,000, we plan to open at 50% capacity, with all patrons, staff, and volunteers wearing masks.
  • With a case count of 5 per 100,000 or less, we can open at 100% capacity, with all patrons, staff, and volunteers wearing masks.
  • In the unlikely event that cases return to last year’s levels, we will need to close our doors again, and will communicate our next steps.

We have asked all our staff, volunteers, actors, directors, designers, and crew to be fully vaccinated before they return to the building.

Actors, directors, and designers will also be following protocols set up by their unions. These protocols include creating social bubbles amongst themselves for rehearsal periods and performance runs, as well as regular testing.

We will be requiring all ticket buyers to affirm that they have either been vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of entering our building; are not showing symptoms, and have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.

All staff and volunteers will be wearing masks, unless they are part of the performance. We’ll be asking all patrons and visitors over the age of 2 to wear a mask as well.

Fewer things to touch and fewer chances to get close to folks who are not in your social bubble.

In addition to regularly cleaning all surfaces and common areas in the building, we’ll provide hand sanitizing stations.

If you are in one of our buildings when case counts are above 5 per 100,000, we’ll have markers to promote physical distancing and limit the amount of people in elevators and restrooms.

We are all used to it by now, but every week, every show, every reason to gather may have a slightly different audience setup. We’ll make sure to let you know what we’ll be doing at each event.

We will also update this page regularly, and communicate via email with any changes that affect you.

Audience & Patrons Responsibilities

If you have had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days, or been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus in the past 10 days, please do not attend your scheduled performance. We will exchange your ticket for a later date and will waive all exchange fees.

Check current guidelines for Connecticut residents and those traveling to Connecticut here.

From the survey, we know that nearly 80% of you are already vaccinated or have an appointment. And most of the rest have plans to be vaccinated. Please don’t wait — we’re so excited to see you!

To request an exception due to health considerations or age availability of the vaccine, please contact safety@westportplayhouse.org.

If you forget yours, we’ll provide one for you.

We know that it may be the first time you’ll see friends on staff and in the audience, but please try not to gather too closely, especially when you are inside.

For your safety and the safety of those around you, our staff will be there to ensure safety protocols are followed. Please follow their instructions. We reserve the right to ask those who cannot to leave and return when they are able.

If you have any questions or require any accommodation for the above, please contact us at safety@westportplayhouse.org.

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