Portland Stage will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances when its fall season opens Sept. 29 with “Perseverance” by Maine playwright Callie Kimball.

After shutting down at the start of the pandemic, the theater on Forest Avenue reopened to live audiences at the end of last October, with distancing, masking and other safety protocols in place. Masks will continue to be required regardless of vaccination status, according to the theater’s announcement Tuesday updating its health and safety policy.

“With the recent rise in COVID cases due to the Delta Variant, Portland Stage is joining multiple organizations in the Greater Portland area in their effort to prioritize audience, staff, volunteer and artist safety by requiring masking and vaccinations (or negative COVID tests) of our patrons. These protocols, which include a state-of-the-art, upgraded bipolar ionization HVAC system, will provide multiple layers of protection for our community,” the news release said.

The new requirements also apply to all front-of-house staff and volunteer ushers.

People must present either a physical copy or a photo of their COVID-19 vaccine card, as well as a valid photo ID at the door. If someone cannot prove they are fully vaccinated, they must provide a time-stamped printout, photo or email of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance or a Rapid Antigen Test taken within 24 hours of the performance, according to the theater.

Other Portland arts venues and presenters that have adopted similar vaccine requirements include the State Theatre, Thompson’s Point, Portland House of Music, One Longfellow Square, Aura, Portland Ovations, the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Good Theater.


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