Broadway plans to open in September, but not before its Simbas and Elphabas—and those who watch them—are vaccinated. Theaters announced Friday that audiences will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear masks in order to attend shows. It comes a day after the Actors’ Equity Association, the union representing Broadway actors, and the Broadway League announced it would require all Broadway actors and stage crew to be vaccinated, with exceptions for those who legally or medically can’t receive a dose. There will also be weekly testing for COVID-19 for the workforce and improved air quality at theaters. “This is an important milestone on the path to getting all our members safely back to work,” Mary McColl, executive director for the union, said in a statement. “Vaccines work, and those who are vaccinated will protect both themselves and those who can’t be at this time.” The agreement between actors and the organization will be for both shows in New York and productions across the country, per The Hollywood Reporter.
“The secure return of our casts, crews, and employees is our top priority," Charlotte St. Martin, the head of the Broadway League, said in a statement. “We will continue to partner with our union colleagues as we work together towards raising all of our curtains again.” The Daily Beast reported in May that the hard-line move was under serious consideration.