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Orpheum, Theatrikos, FMT to require proof of vaccination

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FLAGSTAFF-ORPHEUM (copy)

The Orpheum Theater is shown in this 2019 file photo. 

Flagstaff’s Orpheum Theater, Theatrikos Theater Company, Flagstaff Music Theatre and a slew of other venues across the state will require patrons to show proof of vaccination and wear masks during all events starting later this month.

In a letter published Aug. 18, more than a dozen Arizona venues announced the collaborative COVID-19 policy.

Under the new policy, patrons must show proof of that they are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of an FDA- or WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine or at least 14 days after a single-dose vaccine. Alternatively, attendees can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance.

“In theatre we live by the adage, ‘The show must go on.’  But more importantly than that is the health and welfare of our Flagstaff community,” Theatrikos safety coordinator Issi Rayner-Fried said.  “As a public venue, we take our responsibility to our community very seriously.”

The new requirements are set to begin Sept. 20. Phoenix's Celebrity Theatre, Crescent Ballroom, The Marquee Theatre, The Rebel Lounge and numerous others also signed onto the statement, signaling their commitment to the unified policy.

In a joint statement, the venues said: "We encourage everyone who can receive a vaccination to do so, for their own benefit and for the benefit of all of us. We are taking this necessary step for Arizona’s music fans to ensure that all concerts this fall can happen as scheduled. We have a responsibility to our community and there are expectations for all who want to participate in activities in which they share an environment with other people."

A statement from The Orpheum noted they’re still working through the logistics of the verification process and more information will be shared in the coming days on their website and social media.

This follows Live Nation's Aug. 13 announcement that the global entertainment company responsible for many of Arizona's biggest concerts would require fans and artists to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test starting Oct. 4.

A number of Arizona venues rolled out new requirements mandating all guests and staff wear masks in late August. These additional precautions will only increase safety as another surge in cases could be detrimental for both the Flagstaff community and its venues. 

“It’s the best way to continue and to keep our Flagstaff homes safe,” Orpheum general manager Susan Walter said.

Theatrikos and Flagstaff Music Theatre’s have maintained similar requirements. Theatrikos maintained a mask mandate and social distancing policies for all shows since reopening in August, including keeping an empty seat between groups to maintain enough space.

The show’s cast and crew must also provide proof of vaccination and will be required to wear masks backstage and during rehearsals. They will be permitted to remove the masks for performances.

 Concessions will remain closed.

“With these safety protocols in place and recognizing the high vaccination rates among Flagstaff’s theatre audience, Theatrikos continues to make safety our priority,” Terri Brenneman, president of the Theatrikos Board of Directors said. “As we gradually reopen, Theatrikos, Orpheum and Flagstaff Music Theatre are all committed to keeping our cast and crew and audience as safe as possible in these tumultuous times. We’re eager to welcome our patrons and many fans back to the magic of live theatre.”

Bree Burkitt is the editor of Flag Live! Reach her at bburkitt@azdailysun.com.

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