2021 | Coronavirus

UPDATED: Bethesda’s Round House Theatre will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend shows

Strathmore, Imagination Stage say they are not considering mandating vaccines

share this

File photo

This story was updated at 5:05 p.m. on Aug. 5, 2021, to include comments from The Strathmore and Imagination Stage.

Round House Theatre in Bethesda announced Thursday that audience members will be required to provide proof that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend live performances.

Round House announced the measure in a press release in conjunction with 12 other theaters in the region, with “more expected to join this group in the coming weeks.” Round House is the only theater in Maryland currently included.

The Strathmore, in North Bethesda, and Imagination Stage, in Bethesda, are not considering vaccination requirements for events, spokeswomen wrote in emails Thursday to Bethesda Beat.

Both said organization leaders are “monitoring” the COVID-19 pandemic and are willing to adjust, as needed. Strathmore and Imagination Stage both require face coverings, regardless of vaccination status.

People who want to attend a live show at the Round House Theatre will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks have passed since receiving either the second dose of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Audience members will be allowed to show a physical copy of their vaccination record, or “theaters may extend other options to provide proof of vaccination as detailed on their websites.”

Round House’s website says patrons must show a photo identification and either a paper or digital copy of their vaccination card.

The requirement will remain in place through the end of the year, according to the press release, and a decision about whether it will be extended is expected by October.

Children younger than 12 and those who cannot get vaccinated due to a medical condition are exempt from the requirement. These groups must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Face coverings will also be required inside the theater, regardless of vaccination status, except when eating and drinking in designated locations, the press release said.

Last month, Round House announced that its performance season will begin Sept. 8 with the premiere of “Quixote Nuevo.” The season ends in July with the premiere of “Nollywood Dreams.”

The other theaters included in Thursday’s announcement were:

• Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C.
• Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C.
• Constellation Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
• GALA Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C.
• Keegan Theatre in Washington, D.C.
• Mosaic Theatre in Washington, D.C.
• Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
• Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va.
• Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C.
• Synetic Theater in Arlington, Va.
• Theater J in Washington, D.C.
• Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com