Safety Center Stage
New Jersey Theatres Welcome Audiences Back to Indoor Performances This Fall and We All Have a Part to Play to Bring Theatre Back Safely
New Jersey Theatre Alliance (“The Alliance”), one of the state’s largest arts service organizations, announced its re-opening campaign, “Opening Night, Opening Right” last week, with a new website, OpeningRight.com, which outlines the commitment of the New Jersey’s professional theatre community to meet and exceed all local and national COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The Opening Night Opening Right Pledge, taken by all 40 members of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and several of the state’s presenting venues, is a promise to follow the most current medical advice, meeting or exceeding all local and national safety guidelines, such as:
✔ Deep cleaning and disinfecting before all performances
✔ Clearly communicated mask policies
✔ Contactless transactions available
✔ Health screening before entry
✔ Flexible ticket policies for anyone feeling ill or at risk due to COVID-19 variants
✔ Sanitation stations for all patrons and staff
“The New Jersey Theatre Alliance has successfully navigated our theatres through unprecedented challenges by celebrating and championing what unifies us. While New Jersey's professional theatres may have varied approaches to re-opening our venues, our primary goal is the same - to ensure that the safety of our artists and patrons is our number one priority”, says Producing Artistic Director of Premiere Stages and Chair of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Board of Trustees.
All theatres in the New Jersey Theatre Alliance are committed to safety, but specific policies vary per venue. Links to the specific policies and guidelines for each theatre can be found on OpeningRight.com
Members of the public are also encouraged to visit OpeningRight.com and take their own Theatre Lover’s Pledge to:
✔ Follow all theatre safety guidelines
✔ Respect theatre personnel and other guests at the event
✔ Stay at home if not feeling well
✔ Inform the theatre if testing positive for COVID after attending a show
✔ Visit local theatre websites or call their box office before each attended event for the most current safety guidelines.
The short animated video, “Putting Safety Center Stage” welcomes audiences back and introduces the Theatre Lover's Pledge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYNy2s-4f-c
As part of the “Opening Night, Opening Right” campaign, The Alliance called on avid theatre fans and enthusiasts to share their “opening night stories” in a series of videos where they recall their love for theatre and their excitement for their first show back indoors and onstage this fall. Hear the first story from Everett & David as they take the Theatre Lover’s Pledge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBa4NTnP_u8
Everyone who takes the Theatre Lover’s Pledge will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card every two weeks between now and November 1. Additionally, many theatres are offering “Pledge Perks” such as discounts on tickets and concessions for audience members who have taken the pledge.
“Opening Night, Opening Right celebrates the collaboration and commitment by New Jersey’s theatre community that we are all in this together, and that we all have a part to play in bringing theatre back,” says John McEwen, executive director of New Jersey Theatre Alliance. “All 40 of our member theatres have come together to pledge to keep safety center stage, and we encourage all theatregoers to take the Theatre Lover’s Pledge to show their support and commitment to safety.
The 40 members of New Jersey Theatre Alliance are: American Theatre Group (Basking Ridge); Art House Productions (Jersey City); Atlantic City Theatre Company (Atlantic City); Axelrod Performing Arts Center (Deal); Bucks County Playhouse (New Hope/Lambertville); Cape May Stage (Cape May); Centenary Stage Company (Hackettstown); The Company Theatre Group (Hackensack); Crossroads Theatre Company (New Brunswick); Eagle Theatre (Hammonton); East Lynne Theater Company (Cape May); Elizabeth Youth Theater Ensemble (Elizabeth); Epic Actor's Workshop (Old Bridge); George Street Playhouse (New Brunswick); The Growing Stage: The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey (Netcong); Hudson Theatre Works (Weehawken); Jersey City Theater Center (Jersey City); Luna Stage (West Orange); McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton); The Meta Theatre Company (Lebanon); Mile Square Theatre (Hoboken); The New Jersey Play Lab; New Jersey Repertory Company (Long Branch); Paper Mill Playhouse (Milburn); Passage Theatre Company (Trenton); Paterson Performing Arts Development Council (Paterson); Premiere Stages at Kean University (Union); Progressive Theater (Maplewood); Pushcart Players (Verona); The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (Madison); Skyline Theatre Company (Fair Lawn); South Camden Theatre Company (Camden); Speranza Theatre Company (Jersey City); Surflight Theatre (Beach Haven); The Theater Project (Union); Two River Theater Company (Red Bank); Vanguard Theater Company (Montclair); Vivid Stage (formerly Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit); Women's Theatre Company (Lake Hiawatha); and Yendor Theatre Company (Newark).
Several presenting venues have partnered with the Alliance in their reopening efforts, and have also signed on to the Opening Night, Opening Right Pledge. They are: Bergen Performing Arts Center (Englewood); Count Basie Center for the Arts (Red Bank), Mayo Performing Arts Center (Morristown); Newark Symphony Hall (Newark); New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (New Brunswick); New Jersey Performing Arts Center (Newark); South Orange Performing Arts Center (South Orange); and State Theatre New Jersey (New Brunswick).
To guide the reopening plans for the state’s theatre community, New Jersey Theatre Alliance enlisted the guidance of crowd safety expert, Dr. Stuart Weiss. He has been working closely with The Alliance since early 2020, to ensure every measure taken by the member organizations is grounded in medical authority.
Dr. Weiss, MD, FACEP, FAAP, CBCP, an internationally known expert in the fields of disaster and pandemic planning for large gatherings , is the founder of Intelligent Crowd Solutions, a consulting company specializing in business continuity planning, exercise development, and crisis management for special event and event production clients.
Visit OpeningRight.com for more information and to take your own Theatre Lover’s Pledge.
The Opening Night, Opening Right Campaign is supported by Dr. Joan H. Rechnitz, Amazon, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Grunin Foundation, New Jersey Department of State Division of Travel and Tourism, and the New Jersey Arts and Culture Recovery Fund.