EXCLUSIVE: Kennedy Center theater in D.C. drops mask mandate
Theater at the theater for COVID ends Oct. 18
Just two days after my report on the absurdity of the mask mandate “science” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the theater announced it will drop the policy on Oct 18. Watch my new, exclusive report on YouTube below…
MASK MANDATE ENDS
The Kennedy Center receives federal funds every year for operations. It emailed its patrons on Oct. 4 an “alert” about the masks that said this:
We are looking forward to seeing you soon and wanted to make you aware of an update to our COVID-19 policies.
Beginning October 18, face masks will be optional but welcomed in all Kennedy Center spaces for visitors and staff. Until then, masks remain required at all times for all patrons inside the theaters.
Protocols are subject to change in compliance with revisions to national and local guidelines regarding COVID-19.
The Kennedy Center’s Director of Public Relations, Brendan Padgett, responded to my questions about the reason for the change with this statement:
This decision was made with great care and much discussion with our advisors at the Cleveland Clinic and Inova as well as colleagues in other performing arts centers and large gathering venues, many of which have already removed mask mandates.
While masks will no longer be required in theaters beginning October 18, they are absolutely welcome in all areas at the Center. Based on our experience with previous mask policy changes implemented earlier in the year (where masks were required just within the theaters), we fully expect to see a mix of masked and unmasked audiences.
I replied and asked why the Kennedy Center was postponing the mask mandate end for two weeks. Padgett responded:
We wanted to make sure that there was enough time to effectively communicate the change with patrons, artists, staff, and all constituents.
As you saw in the video I made about seeing “Hamilton”, the Kennedy Center’s mask policy requires patrons to wear the mask while sitting in silence in the theater. It does not require masks while talking in lines for security, in the concourse or in any other public area of the building.
After watching my video, Ed Powell, a Kennedy Center subscriber, wrote the theater and asked to meet with them about the mask policy. You can read his letter in the comments on my story here.
I interviewed Powell (who is also a paid subscriber to this newsletter) in the video above about what drove him to take this action and how he feels about waiting two more weeks for the mask mandate to end.
We also discussed how the Kennedy Center does not mandate a type of mask...
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