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Krannert Center will require audiences to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result beginning November 16

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test results will soon be required to get a seat inside the Foellinger Great Hall or other theaters at the University of Illinois' Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

URBANA – Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois in Urbana will soon start requiring audience members to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or of a negative test result.

Beginning Tuesday, November 16, when the University of Illinois Wind Orchestra will be performing, the Krannert Center will require everyone attending performances at their four theaters, to show proof they have been vaccinated for COVID-19, or have recently tested negative for the virus.

Krannert Associate Director for Marketing Maureen Reagan says people should bring their vaccination card or test document, or a digital copy of the card or document on their cellphone, along with a photo ID. Krannert staff will be checking documentation at special stations in the Krannert lobby. Regan says the stations will be open from 90 minutes before the start of a performance until 30 minutes after.

“When they check in at the lobby station, they will get a wrist band,” said Reagan, “which then allows them to go into the theater, but for people to know that that status has been checked.”

The vaccine/test requirement for Krannert audiences comes after the performance center’s 2021-22 season has already begun. Reagan says that’s because of the extra time it took to get the new requirement approved by the necessary university officials, and to get the needed staff in place. 

“We also know that not everyone will choose to participate in this program and may decide they can’t come to Krannert Center,” said Reagan. “We don’t want anybody to feel excluded. But for that highest level of safety and comfort while people are in the venues, this was the route to go with.”

Reagan says requiring proof of vaccination is becoming more and more common at performance spaces across the country. She notes that locally, the Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival and the Pygmalion Festival both had proof of vaccination requirements in place this year. Venues in Chicago that also require such proof include the University of Chicago’s Court Theatre and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Center. Reagan notes that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be performing at the Krannert Center later in the season, on March 3, 2022.

“It really has become both artist expectation, an industry expectation, and an audience expectation,” said Reagan of the new audience requirement. “And we have heard from audience members who really aren’t comfortable coming back until this is in place. As well as our volunteer corps, actually, is really grateful that this will now be in place.”

Reagan says the required proof of vaccine or negative test result will only be required for events in the Krannert Center’s four indoor theaters: Foellinger Great Hall, Tryon Festival Theatre, Colwell Playhouse and the Studio Theatre. The Krannert lobby, including the Stage 5 Bar and the facility’s outdoor spaces, including the Amphitheatre, are exempted.

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Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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