These Cincinnati Arts Organizations and Venues Will Require Audience Masks and Vaccinations or Negative COVID-19 Test

In order to ensure that the show(s) can go on, Cincinnati arts organizations and venues have banded together to present uniform COVID precautions going into the fall season.

Playhouse in the Park's production of A Christmas Carol is slated to return this holiday season. - Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
Playhouse in the Park's production of A Christmas Carol is slated to return this holiday season.

In order to ensure that the show(s) can go on, Cincinnati arts organizations and venues have banded together to present uniform COVID-19 precautions going into the fall season.

The announcement comes on the heels of new regulations at Cincinnati music venues, which have taken a similar stance against COVID.

Audience members for upcoming productions at the following venues will need to wear masks as well as bring proof of a COVID vaccine or a negative COVID test, plus a photo ID:

  • Cincinnati Arts Association venues;
  • the Cincinnati Ballet
  • the Cincinnati Opera
  • the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
  • the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
  • the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops
  • Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
  • Know Theatre of Cincinnati

According to a release, most venues plan to operate at full capacity.

“With two world premieres this fall and the return of A Christmas Carol, we determined this was the best way to help ensure the return of live, in-person performances,” Blake Robison, producing artistic director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, tells CityBeat. “We are pleased to partner with all the other major performing arts groups in this coordinated effort to keep our audiences, artists and staff safe.”

The CSO and Pops say that starting Sept. 6, everyone entering Music Hall must be masked (unless actively eating or drinking) and bring proof of vaccination or a negative test. You can bring your physical vaccination card, a photo of the card or a digital vaccination record. If you're unvaccinated, you must provide proof of a negative COVID PCR test within 72 hours of the event, or take a rapid antigen test — and get a negative result — within 24 hours. Snap a dated photo of your negative test. 

“At this time, as the Delta variant continues to push the number of COVID cases in the wrong direction, we feel that this is our most responsible action to continue to aggressively protect the health and safety of our employees and our audiences,” said CSO President and CEO Jonathan Martin. “Having this policy in place means we can move beyond social distancing and allows us to safely accommodate the entire Orchestra on stage as well as the ability to open the entire capacity of the auditorium to audiences.” 

Regulations at Cincy Shakes are similar, with two ways to enter the Otto M. Budig Theater for shows: 

Option 1: Proof of Vaccination

Ticketholders 12 years of age or older may show proof of full COVID vaccination to enter accompanied by a photo ID. “Fully vaccinated” means that the ticketholder’s performance is at least 14 days after their final vaccine dose.

OR Option 2: Negative COVID PCR Test

Ticketholders 5 years of age* or older may show proof of a negative COVID PCR test taken within 72 hours of performance to enter.

*As per our standard policy, children under the age of 5 are not permitted into the theater.

ArtsWave, Cincinnati's art engine and funder, supports the new regulations. 

“Not only does this decision help stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of other arts-goers, it also protects the jobs of the artists onstage and the crews behind the curtain. This is another, important way that we can come together as a community to secure the restart of the arts,” said Alecia Kintner, President and CEO of ArtsWave.

Each venue's requirements may differ slightly, so check their websites before attending a show. Ticketholders can expect detailed instructions from each arts organization via email. 


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