COVID Safety Protocols

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Welcome Back

We are thrilled to welcome you back to live, volunteer-powered theater this fall!

The past 18 months have taught us about finding joy in unlikely places, making peace with uncertainty, and finding sparks of hope through human connection. Our 2021/22 Season was crafted with those things in mind.

To keep you, our volunteers, our audiences, and our staff safe in the face of dramatic upsurges in highly contagious variants, we are implementing a temporary set of safety protocols which will remain in place until CDC risk levels drop to at least “moderate.” We monitor these levels weekly.

Here are the highlights:

  • Volunteers and audience members (18+) must show proof of full vaccination before entering the building.
  • Everyone must wear a mask inside the building unless actively performing on stage.
  • Guests are asked to practice social distancing while in the building.
  • If you are feeling sick OR have been exposed to COVID, stay home. We will happily exchange your ticket if you were planning to see a show! For volunteers, you may return to the building after a negative PCR test result.
  • If you receive a positive COVID test within 14 days of being inside the Live Arts building, please take the appropriate steps to alert staff.


Thank You for Doing Your Part

Chante Mack on tech day for MAYBE GHOSTS WERE A BAD IDEA… (2020)

Thank you in advance for doing your part to protect all of us from the spread of the coronavirus variants.

1) If you are 18 or older, you will be required to present proof of full vaccination (a vaccination card, photo of a card, or digital vaccine record) upon entering the building to attend a live production, workshop, or special event. Live Arts will not keep any record of your vaccine status.  If you forget or misplace your proof of vaccination, we will happily reschedule your ticket for another day. (To avoid this hassle, we encourage you to take a photo of your card with your phone so it’s always with you).

Exceptions to the vaccination requirement will be made if you are not able to be vaccinated because you are under 18 years old, have a health challenge, or object on religious grounds. Instead, you will be required to present proof of a negative COVID test (either an antigen test within six hours of performance start time or a PCR test within 72 hours of performance start time). For information about PCR testing sites in central Virginia, please refer to this directory of COVID-19 Testing Sites provided by the Virginia Department of Health.

“Fully vaccinated” means you are two weeks past your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines OR two weeks past your Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

2) You will be required to wear a mask at all times indoors. This includes lobbies, both theaters, and rest rooms. You may remove your mask to enjoy a beverage or snack on the outdoor terrace on the Fourth Floor. For your convenience, we have moved our concessions bar to Conover Studio adjacent to the terrace. For further information and questions about wearing a mask, please refer to “Your Guide to Masks” from the CDC.

Sri Kodakalla applies makeup for LET GO OF ME (2021)

3) You will be asked to practice social distancing throughout the building.To make that easier, we have reduced the seating capacity in the Gibson Theater by one third and suspended use of the Founders for full productions this fall.

We’re Doing Our Part Too

We appreciate your patience and cooperation. We’re also doing our part to keep you safe:

1) We have enhanced cleaning protocols in place, including sanitation stations on every floor.

2) We installed a hands-free card reader and protective shields at the Box Office and concessions stands.

3) We have a certified COVID Compliance Officer (CCO) present at every public gathering. A CCO ensures that our facility is adhering to the protocols we have put in place to keep all volunteers, staff, and patrons safe while they are in the building.

What Informed Our Decision

We understand that these policies can be inconvenient or even controversial. We also acknowledge that vaccine mandates can be exclusionary and have tried to reduce any barriers to access. We made this difficult “vax and mask” decision to guard the health and safety of our Live Arts family and the greater Charlottesville community.

Joshua St. Hill as Usnavi in IN THE HEIGHTS (2020)

We based our decision on several factors:

  • The increase in COVID infections across Albemarle and surrounding counties
  • The unknowns around variants and their transmission to and from vaccinated individuals
  • The preferences of our patrons, most of whom told us in a survey that they were not totally comfortable coming back to the theater without mask and/or vaccine mandates.
  • The growing adoption of mask and vaccine mandates by hundreds of local and national theaters, including large coalitions in New York and Washington, DC.



Looking Ahead

We will be monitoring trends and guidance throughout the fall and refining our safety protocols in response to the course of the virus.

If you are planning to come to a show or event at Live Arts and find that you are feeling sick or cannot comply with our safety protocols for any reason, we will issue you a credit for use at a future performance or a full refund.

Updated September 15, 2021