Society for the Performing Arts announces new COVID safety protocol

Fran Lebowitz, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Drum Tao 2022 are among the artists on Society for the Performing Arts’ February calendar.

Society for the Performing Arts has announced that it will expand its COVID-19 safety requirements from masks to proof of a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination for all patrons ages 5 and older, starting in February.

By doing so, SPA joins four other major arts organizations in Houston’s Theater District that currently have similar COVID safety protocol – including the Alley Theatre, Broadway at The Hobby Center, and Theatre Under The Stars (which require proof of negative results or vaccination for ages 12 and older), as well as Da Camera.

As “the largest nonprofit presenting organization of its kind in the Southwest,” SPA brings internationally acclaimed artists, musicians, dancers, actors, and speakers to Houston, and champions local artists through its Houston Artist Commissioning Project.

“With the amount of travel [SPA touring artists] are doing, more and more are requiring increased health and safety protocols,” the organization stated in its January newsletter as the impetus for the change.

Beginning next month, all audience members ages 5 and older will be required to show proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours prior to the performance. SPA also requires that that the negative result be from a professionally administered test, not an at-home self-test.

Alternatively, patrons may choose to show proof of vaccination in the form of either 1) a CDC designated vaccine card that has two vaccine dates for the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine or one vaccine date for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the date of the final dose at least 14 days prior to the performance, or 2) a photo or digital copy of the card.

Patrons also need to present ID that matches the name on the test or vaccination card. Children may be accompanied by an adult who can provide identification. 

Masks will continue to be required inside the theater for all attendees ages 3 and older.

According to SPA, current ticket holders who cannot or do not wish to participate in these guidelines may contact the box office or email info@spahouston.org by January 28 to exchange their tickets for credit, to donate tickets, or to request a full refund.

Here’s a look at current COVID safety protocol for 8 major arts organizations in downtown Houston’s Theater District, subject to change:

Alley Theatre

  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination for patrons ages 12 and older
  • Masks required for all ages
  • All staff, artists, creative teams, crews, and ushers required to be vaccinated

Broadway at The Hobby Center

  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination for guests ages 12 and older
  • Masks required for all ages

Da Camera

  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination for all patrons
  • Masks required for all patrons

Houston Ballet

  • Masks required for all patrons
  • All staff and ushers fully vaccinated and masked at all times

Houston Grand Opera

  • Masks required for all patrons
  • All guests attending HGO Special Event dinners required to show proof of negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination, with masks also required at these events

Houston Symphony

  • Masks required for all patrons
  • All staff, ushers, musicians vaccinated; all ushers and staff in Jones Hall masked
  • Mix of full capacity and socially distanced areas in Jones Hall

Society for the Performing Arts

  • Masks required for all patrons
  • Starting February 2022, proof of negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination for patrons ages 5 and older

Theatre Under The Stars

  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination for patrons ages 12 and older
  • Masks required for all ages
  • On-site COVID testing available

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