Milwaukee performing arts groups to require proof of COVID vaccination or negative test

Includes Marcus Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee Ballet, MSO

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Last updated on September 2nd, 2021 at 09:38 am

Many of Milwaukee’s performing arts organizations announced Wednesday that proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test result will be required to attend indoor performances beginning this month. 

The new protocol, which applies to audience members 12 years of age and older, is now in place at the following organizations: Black Arts MKE, First Stage, Florentine Opera, Marcus Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, Present Music, and Skylight Music Theatre. 

Those groups join Summerfest and The Pabst Theater Group, as well as other performing arts organizations across the U.S. that have announced vaccination and testing requirements for audience members in response to rising COVID-19 cases. That includes Broadway theaters in New York City and more than 65 venues within The League of Chicago Theaters.

“The health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff remain the top priority for all of us in the Milwaukee performing arts community,” said Kendra Whitlock Ingram, president and CEO of the Marcus Performing Arts Center. “Our industry faced tremendous challenges and financial devastation over the past 18 months, and this precautionary step will give us the ability to stay in business and ensure live performances can continue safely throughout the city.”

Exact protocols may vary by organization, and audience members are encouraged to contact individual organizations for details or questions regarding policies. The organizations will offer refunds for previously purchased tickets, according to the news release.

Wednesday’s announcement was made with support from the City of Milwaukee Health Department. 

“I applaud the efforts of our performing arts partners to keep their audiences and performers safe,” said Kirsten Johnson, City of Milwaukee Health Department Commissioner of Health. “The only way for us to move out of the pandemic and get back to doing the things we love is for more people to be vaccinated. I am grateful our partners have made the tough decisions to protect our residents so we can all enjoy Milwaukee’s performing arts.”

For more information on individual organization policies and ticket refunds, visit:

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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