Krannert Center requires COVID-19 vaccine or negative results for entry


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The Krannert Center for Performing Arts is now requiring proof of the Covid-19 vaccination or negative test to enter.

By Lilli Bresnahan, Staff Writer

The Krannert Center for Performing Arts has begun asking that all audience members show proof of vaccination or that they have a recent negative COVID-19 test since Nov.16. 

Maureen Reagan, associate director of marketing at the Krannert Center, said that they have been thinking about this change since the summer. As the Delta variant has progressed, featured artists are trying to help protect themselves and to encourage the communities to protect each other. Audience members have also felt favorably in returning if this change is implemented.

“From what the responses we’ve been getting, there are more that will come back,” Reagan said. 

Reagan said the Krannert Center has also been through some internal changes to be in agreement with COVID-19 protocols. 

“There was work done on our air handlers and air filters and things like that, as was done, I think, (in) many places in the University to make sure that they were really in compliance,” Reagan said. 

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    The performers are held to the same standard as the audience members, but there are certain conditions where the artists can be unmasked on the stage. However, they are required to put their mask back on when they exit the stage. 

    “There are ways that we obviously have more flexibility than we did last year,” Reagan said. Many artists are also volunteering their vaccination status and sharing their protocol. 

    Stephen Taylor, professor of music at the University and co-director of the Illinois Modern Ensemble, said he fully supports the Krannert Center’s decision in an email. 

    “Vaccines for COVID are safe, effective and freely available to everyone,” Taylor wrote in an email. “If someone decides to put their own life and others’ in danger by remaining unvaccinated, that’s on them. It’s like drunk driving — another stupid personal choice that puts themselves and others in danger.”

    Other theaters in the area have done audience checks such as the Pygmalion Festival, the Champaign-Urbana Folk Roots Festival, League of Chicago Theatres and the Chicago Symphony. 

    Overall, for theaters asking for a vaccine or negative COVID-19 test from the audience, “it’s not universal, but it’s not unusual,” Reagan said. The Krannert Center accepts a photo or paper where the essential information is clearly visible. 

    In general, Reagan believes the University is doing great with COVID-19 precautions.

    “We’ve gotten really good responses, and (the Safer Illinois) app makes it so much easier for people to check in with us and so that they can get their wristbands and go,” Reagan said. “(The University’s) infrastructure made a huge difference for us.”

    Reagan hopes to advance with COVID-19 safety.

     “There are sites that are theaters in the country that are, in one way or another, providing rapid test kits, after the venue, and we’re going to be researching that,” Reagan said. 

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