Conn. (WTNH) — The six theaters that make up Connecticut’s Flagship Producing Theaters (CFPT) announced a mandatory vaccination and mask requirement for all indoor spaces on Monday.

To try to minimize exposure to COVID-19 and help the theater make a successful return, this mandate will take effect immediately.

Audience members must be masked and fully vaccinated to attend any indoor performances. Audience members will need to show proof of vaccination with a valid ticket to enter the venue.

The mask mandate also applies to the staff and stage crew. If artists are not performing on stage, they are expected to wear their masks.

“Since the global pandemic closed our buildings in 2020, we have been eager to welcome Connecticut back to the theater in-person, safely,” said Michael Barker, Westport Country Playhouse managing director. “Vaccines and masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 and allow us to share the collective electricity of live performance, unmediated by a screen. We are guided by science and always listening to our audience, with safety as our highest priority.”

Donna Lynn Hilton, artistic director for Goodspeed Musicals, added, “A few of us have been able to pull off incidental programming. Here at Goodspeed, we were fortunate to do our ‘Goodspeed by the River’ series, which kept us going for almost three months this summer. But now, the weather is gonna turn and we have to get back inside, and how do we safely do that? We know the science is there. We have the ability to protect one another and our audience. And so we’ve taken the step to assume that.”

Some CFPT members will be allowed certain exemptions to the vaccine requirement if it is related to medical or religious issues. The CFPT recommends people look at each theater’s website to see about their exemption policy in addition to COVID-19 protocols.

CFPT theaters include the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Goodspeed Musicals, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, and Yale Repertory Theatre.

The CFPT says their decision on how and when to reopen is based on the current conditions and guidelines from the CDC, state and local officials, and collective investment in the well-being of their audiences.