Actors’ Equity Association and the Broadway League have announced an agreement on safety protocols that includes mandated vaccines and weekly testing for the Broadway workforce.
“This is an important milestone on the path to getting all our members safely back to work,” said Mary McColl, executive director for Actors’ Equity Association, while League president Charlotte St. Martin called the “secure return of our casts, crews and employees” a “top priority” for the trade organization representing producers and theater owners.
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The agreement on safety protocols covers Production Contract shows on Broadway and in sit-down productions across the country. Key provisions of the agreement include:
Improved HVAC standards;
Mandated vaccines for the workforce, with the exception of those who cannot do so for reasons such as age or risks to their health;
Weekly testing for employees;
Allowance for modifications to the protocols where necessary for individual shows or locations.
This agreement comes as Pass Over, the first Broadway play set to resume performances, moves into the August Wilson Theatre today for rehearsals.
The Broadway industry has yet to announce whether venues will, as an across-the-board rule, require audience members to be vaccinated. Both Springsteen on Broadway (currently running) and Pass Over (beginning previews Aug. 4) have set proof of vaccination for attendance, as has the Roundabout Theatre Company for its upcoming productions Trouble in Mind and Caroline, or Change.
Regarding the agreement between Equity (the union representing actors and stage managers) and the League, McColl said, “We are grateful to the League for their partnership on these protocols. We all feel this plan is robust, adaptable to changing conditions and in line with the science. Vaccines work, and those who are vaccinated will protect both themselves and those who can’t be at this time.”
Said St. Martin: “The secure return of our casts, crews and employees is our top priority. The Broadway League and Equity, faced with ever-changing COVID related variables, have agreed on health and safety protocols for actors and stage managers returning to Broadway. We will continue to partner with our union colleagues as we work together towards raising all of our curtains again.”
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