Third Edition February 1, 2021

Bringing audiences back to the theater represents a series of challenges in the face of COVID-19. In subsequent editions, this roadmap will consider various strategies for minimizing risk to audiences during the run of the show. In that research, the following topics are central to ongoing considerations:

  • What are the best strategies to communicate with audiences, and when are the best times to communicate?

  • How can communications reinforce the public health measures being undertaken by theaters, and also outline the responsibilities that audience members must help shoulder in order to make shared spaces safe for everyone?

  • What ticketing and box office procedures will most effectively de-densify audiences and mitigate risk?

  • What are the most effective strategies regarding audience personal protective equipment?

  • How can theaters choreograph audience flow at entrances and exits, in lobbies, along routes to restrooms, and in other public spaces? What communication, signage, and structures will best facilitate these behaviors?

  • How will new health and safety protocols accommodate persons with disabilities?
  • How will safety measures for fire and other emergencies evolve in line with de-densification and changes to audience paths?

  • What are the most effective strategies regarding hand-sanitizing stations throughout the performance space?

  • What strategies for concessions will most successfully minimize risk?

  • What are the most effective strategies for cleaning and sanitizing performance spaces between shows? What timelines for these procedures minimize risk for cleaning crews?

  • What are the most effective front of house staffing plans for these new policies and procedures? How can theaters best train and support staff?

  • How can theaters respectfully ensure that all audience members observe safety measures? What are the usher/house management protocols for someone who is not compliant with guidelines? How will these measures be implemented equitably, avoiding stigmatization and preserving civil liberties?

Healthy Buildings

This roadmap is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as a set of directions. Please see About the Use of This Resource for further explanation.

Above, audience members: Evgenia Elsieeva.