Sydney Theatre Company venues have been granted an exemption which allows them to return to 100% capacity by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
The news comes almost exactly one year after the industry was forced to shutter all performance spaces die to COVID-19. The exemption comes into effect just in time for the current season of Playing Beatie Bow, now running at STC’s newly renovated home at The Wharf. The upcoming seasons of Appropriate and Fun Home will also now be able to open at full capacity when they debut in March and April.
The exemption has been granted in response to the company’s exemplary COVID-safe policies and procedures that have been in place since it returned to the stage in September 2020.
STC’s Executive Director Patrick McIntyre said, “This is big news for us and we are extremely grateful to Minister Hazzard and the NSW Government for the trust they have placed in the company. Sydney is more or less the theatre capital of the world right now and we are incredibly heartened by the strong demand we are seeing from audiences. The ability to sell to full capacity is a crucial next step for us on the road to recovery.”
STC cancelled all productions in mid-March 2020 as the coronavirus situation escalated and remained closed for six months. The company slowly returned to the stage in September with a socially-distanced season of Angus Cerini’s Wonnangatta starring Hugo Weaving and Wayne Blair.
Playing Beatie Bow is the fifth production STC has opened since the closure period.
While shows will now be sold to full capacity, STC will continue to take enhanced health and safety precautions in venues including hand sanitiser stations in foyers and mandatory mask-wearing while watching a performance. Ticket holders will be reminded of COVID related policies and procedures prior to attending each performance.