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Updated January 4, 2021

Meany Center understands that to keep artists, audiences and employees safe, the performance experience will be different. We are currently working with the UW Environmental Health & Safety Department, the Washington State Arts Commission and arts-specific specialists to devise our live performance plans in adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and county health department recommendations.

Plans will focus on:

  1. reducing personal proximity and crowds,

  2. limiting on-site transaction points,

  3. reducing opportunities for reinfection through cleaning and hygiene, and

  4. creating a culture that supports adherence to our policies. We understand protocol must be dynamic to best respond to new information. 

To ensure that we can provide an excellent audience experience, Meany is planning for several scenarios based on reopening phases and the protocols required in each phase. While seating capacities could range from 340 to 1,200, depending on the phase we’re in, we are moving forward with plans that accommodate social distancing. These plans may limit our seating capacity to 340. Under this plan, seating will be general admission and there will be no reserved seating. When we reach Phase 4 and can operate at full capacity, we will revert back to assigned seating.

New safety protocols for live performance attendance may include, but are not limited to:

Sanitation & Safety Expectations

  • Compliance with Safe Start Washington requirements. 
  • Enhanced daily and between-performance cleaning procedures, adhering to CDC recommendations for public facilities. Frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces including doors, elevator buttons and workstations, particularly during events. 
  • Sanitation stations throughout the venues, including backstage and office spaces, that include hand sanitizer.  
  • Mandatory wearing of masks or face coverings in accordance with state, county and venue regulations. 
  • Plexiglass barriers between public and staff at key transaction points. 
  • Updated restroom use protocol for audiences. 
  • Food service and artist merchandise will be suspended or will operate in adherence to phase-specific guidelines outlined by state and local health officials.

Patron Movement & Experience Expectations

  • Reduced capacity through changed seating configurations to accommodate social distancing requirements. Designated zones and entry and exit paths for theater seating. 
  • No late seating to prevent audience crossing. 
  • Timed entry to eliminate crowding at theater entrance. 
  • New print-at-home and ticket scanning capacities to reduce touch transactions on site. 
  • Directional audience flow to maximize social distancing and minimize engagement of high-touch surfaces. Identify, control and limit congregation points in venues where staff and visitors may come into close proximity. Train and strategically place staff to encourage flow and physical distancing of visitors.
  • Digital programs to reduce exchange of printed materials.   
  • Clear communications to patrons prior to arrival regarding safety expectations, with consideration for signage outdoors and inside that declares expectations for the visitors to enter the venue, including caution to physical distance, wash hands, use hand sanitizer, wear a mask and other safety precautions. 
  • Secure patron information to facilitate contact tracing.
  • Prohibit backstage visitors and greeting of audience members at stage door following performances. 
  • Meany Center will send out updated attendance and venue details in advance of each live performance along with performance tickets.  

For more information about the University of Washington’s COVID-19 response, please visit the UW COVID-19 Facts & Resources page.