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Old Globe announces new vaccine rules for ticket-buyers beginning next week

The Old Globe production of "Hair, the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical."
(Jim Cox)

San Diego’s oldest and largest theater will begin restrictions on Tuesday for playgoers attending performances of “Hair”

The Old Globe, San Diego’s oldest and largest live theater, announced Thursday that it will introduce a new policy next week that requires ticket-buyers to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result.

Beginning Tuesday, all showgoers arriving at the 87-year-old Balboa Park theater for its recently opened production of the musical “Hair” will be required to submit proof of full vaccination to enter the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. Face masks will remain optional at “Hair” for now, but when performances of “The Gardens of Anuncia” begin inside the main Old Globe Theatre on Sept. 10, masks will be mandatory for all.

As the COVID-19 case rate has skyrocketed nationwide in recent months, an increasing number of theaters have announced plans to require proof of vaccination to protect artists, staff and patrons. On July 30, all 41 theaters in New York’s Broadway district announced a vaccine requirement. Five days later, 13 in the Washington, D.C., area followed suit.

In San Diego County, Cygnet Theatre announced its vaccination policy Aug. 2 for performances of “La Cage aux Folles” opening Sept. 10, and North Coast Repertory Theatre did the same for its production of “Dancing Lessons,” opening Sept. 8. Leaders of several other local theaters large and small have said in recent weeks that they are working on their own vaccination policies.

Timothy J. Shields, the Globe’s managing director, said in a statement that the decision to introduce the new rules was based on several factors.

“These policies were determined after collecting input from a variety of sources, including close consultation with medical and public health authorities,” Shields said. “In adopting these policies, we not only take important steps toward providing the safest possible environment for theatre, but we also join major arts and other performance institutions up and down the state who have taken these very steps.”

To gain admittance to the theater, arriving ticket-holders must show a photo ID and their proof of vaccination status, which means either a completed COVID-19 vaccination record card, a photograph of that card or a digital vaccination record, which can be obtained by registering at myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov.

Due to the delayed full effectiveness of the vaccine, attendees must be at least 14 days past their final dose of a two-dose Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Patrons 12 and up who are unvaccinated for medical reasons, sincerely held religious beliefs must present negative results of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours of the performance date. Patrons under the age of 12, whose age does not yet permit vaccination, can attend an Old Globe performance but will be required to wear a mask or present negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the performance date.

All documents will be checked by Globe staff members before patrons are admitted and the Globe will reserve the right to deny admission to those who do not meet its new rules.

“The Old Globe is here to serve the public through theater,” Barry Edelstein, the Old Globe’s artistic director, said in a statement. “Our goal in enacting these policies is to keep everyone in our community safe while we continue our return to live performance.”


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