MADISON (WKOW) — If you’re planning on going out for some fun at one of Madison’s indoor entertainment venues this summer, you might need more than just a ticket. Some venues, like Madison’s Forward Theater Company, are requiring all guests to provide proof of vaccination.
“We’re trying to keep our audience safe, keep them happy, keep them engaged and to protect everybody who’s working on the show on stage and behind the scenes,” Jen Uphoff Gray, the artistic director at Forward Theater Company, said.
Uphoff Gray said they made the decision because of rising coronavirus cases and updated guidance from the CDC. The group will also require everyone who attends shows to wear a mask.
“There are still vulnerable people in our community who can’t be vaccinated,” she said. “So, extra precaution on the part of all of us is going to keep those vulnerable populations safer.”
The Forward Theater Company joins a list of businesses in the Madison area that have said they’ll require proof of vaccination. The Stoughton Opera House, Robinia Courtyard and FIVE Nightclub have all put in place their own requirements.
UW Health’s Dr. William Hartman said that might be a good idea.
“The safety measures that they’re putting in place I think make sense and are good to make people feel as comfortable as they can so they can attend these shows,” Hartman said.
Uphoff Gray said the company will only provide exceptions for those under 12, people with a diagnosed medical exemption and those who can’t get vaccinated because of religious reasons. The company will also provide digital tickets for an online version of performances for those who aren’t vaccinated or who aren’t comfortable returning yet.
“We put together stories for people, and I want our audience to be able to sit back, relax and lose themselves in the stories that we’re telling,” Uphoff Gray said. “And that’s really hard if you’re worried about your own safety.”