TULSA, Okla. — A local theater company is doubling down on its COVID protocol after an exposure, last week. Theatre Tulsa now requires every eligible performer to be vaccinated or they do not get to take the stage.
“We like to pretend on stage all the time, but out in the real world the COVID pandemic is still going on, it’s still very real, and it’s still very deadly," Theatre Tulsa Executive Director Jarrod Kopp said.
Kopp and other staff at Theatre Tulsa implemented the vaccination requirement a few weeks before its production of "Matilda" is set to take center stage. The original production was shut down in Spring 2020 due to COVID.
“I’m not willing to take a gamble on this show getting canceled again, or even worse having someone involved in our show contract COVID when the risk could’ve easily been reduced.”
Now, Kopp requires all adult performers, and those 12 years and older, to get the COVID vaccine if they are eligible. If a performer is ineligible, any household members who are eligible must also provide proof of vaccination.
Parents of a young performer told 2 News Oklahoma:
With the current pandemic environment, we are surprised no protocol was in place previously – no temperature checks, no COVID tests, no masks required. If the vaccine requirement had been part of their measures in place from the beginning, parents likely would have made a different decision to participate at all - instead parents and adults are stuck with some reactionary decisions made by Theatre Tulsa, with 72 hours to decide our course of action.
We are grateful the opportunity exists for those who choose to take the vaccine, however, as parents, we are uncomfortable seeing children required to have the vaccine in order to continue their participation in the play.
Kopp said no performer has opted out of the production due to the vaccine requirement but said there have been medical exemptions. In that case, the theater company is requiring a doctor's note or recommendation.
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