Image from First Stage Theater Academy Class

Safety & Security

COVID-19 SAFETY POLICIES & PROCEDURES
Updated January 24, 2022

Find the most up-to-date COVID-19 Safety Policies and Procedures followed at all First Stage classes, rehearsal halls, and performance spaces, including our home at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.

Theater Performances

First Stage is implementing the following safety protocols as we welcome you back for live performances for the 2021/22 season. These protocols were developed with the support of the City of Milwaukee Health Department and in alliance with other organizations within the larger Milwaukee arts community. Please review these protocols as you reserve your tickets and visit our theaters:


Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test Required

This policy now applies to First Stage performances at the Marcus Center's Todd Wehr Theater AND the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center.

Patrons ages 12 and up will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination (at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or at least 14 days after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine) or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your performance

Proof of vaccination includes: Physical vaccination card, copy of vaccination card, or photo of vaccination card visibly showing the entire front of the card with date(s) of vaccination and individual's name that matches the patron’s ID.

Proof of negative COVID-19 test includes: Printed negative test result or a digital negative test result that matches the patron’s ID. Tests must be from no more than 72 hours prior to the performance and issued by a medical provider or pharmacy. At home tests will not be accepted. Rapid tests are not offered on site. Audiences under age 12 will not need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test at this time. 

Photo ID with the name matching the vaccination card or negative test results (parents or chaperones of minors ages 12 and older may validate for their identity; photo ID for minors will not be required). Audiences under age 12 will not need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test. 


Masks Required

Masks are required to be worn properly by all patrons while anywhere inside the performance venue, regardless of vaccination status.


Security at the Marcus Performing Arts Center

Upon entry to the Todd Wehr Theater, you will walk through a security scanner to check for any items not permitted in the building. While purses and small bags are allowed, please leave larger bags, backpacks, or other items at home. Review Security Procedures at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. Please allow ample time for parking, security and COVID safety checks before the performance.


School Group Matinee Performances

For our school matinee performances, all audience members will need to properly wear masks. School Group leaders will need to complete this form validating vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the performance for all teachers and chaperones in attendance. Please contact (414) 267-2962 or fieldtrips@firststage.org with questions.


Other Ways to Help Keep Everyone Safe

  • Limited capacity: Our venues will remain at limited capacity to allow for socially-distanced seating. When purchasing tickets online or at the Box Office, your group of seats will be spaced from others outside of your party.

  • Digital Playbills and Paperless Tickets will be issued to all patrons to reduce contact points between audiences and theater staff.

  • No intermission will be held for any of our performances, and concessions and merchandise will not be sold on site. This measure is to alleviate congestion throughout the lobby.

  • Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout our performance venues.


If you are feeling ill or are presenting an COVID-19 symptoms, please stay at home. Options of ticket exchange, ticket donation, or refund are available if the Box Office is contacted up to six hours prior to the performance.

Please note: Safety protocols will be updated in accordance with our performance venues requirements. Please visit this website for additional details and updates to these procedures.

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VIDEO: Safe Return to Performances at the Marcus Center's Todd Wehr Theater

Theater Academy Safety

The following policies are designed to follow and exceed CDC guidelines:

Students and staff are required to wear masks at all times

All in-person classes are capped below room capacity to allow for social distancing.

Classes will take place in our large classrooms and rehearsal halls to help students maintain social distancing.

Parents or other caregivers are not permitted inside the building during class time, except for final presentations. Further information will be shared closer to your student's presentation date.

Rehearsal halls will be cleaned and disinfected in between class sessions and nightly.

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Theater in Education

First Stage will welcome school groups back to our theaters for performances beginning January 2022, as well as in-school residencies, classroom theater workshops, and an interactive touring show.

First Stage Theater in Education staff will adhere to all safety standards in accordance with the schools' procedures and CDC protocols.

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Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center (MYAC) follows a Family Health and Safety Guide (updated January 7, 2022) for those staff, students, families, and guests in the building. 

All individuals, vaccinated or unvaccinated, must wear a mask in all spaces in MYAC, including all public spaces, program/rehearsal spaces, and open office spaces. 

Effective Monday January 10, 2022: Due to the current surge in COVID cases in our community, MYAC will be limiting building programming access to only those individuals directly involved in actual programming through our partners. This means only faculty and students will be allowed in the building for programming. We will be closing commons spaces to parents, siblings, students, and others.

MYAC will maintain the following measures:

•  Encourage a mask friendly environment
•  Provide hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility
•  Encourage proper handwashing
•  Enhanced facility cleaning with FDA approved products
•  Increased fresh air flow cycling, high quality HEPA air filters through all spaces and Bipolar ionization air filtration, which neutralizes airborne pathogens throughout the facility


MYAC asks that if you feel ill or are presenting any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home.

**Please note that as we continue to monitor pandemic considerations, MYAC and its partners’ protocols are subject to change based on CDC, state, and local guidelines.

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Get Vaccinated...Please

First Stage joins other Milwaukee venues, restaurants, cultural institutions and businesses to urge Milwaukee-area residents to please get vaccinated in order to protect our community, safely continue to visit and enjoy public places of entertainment and dining, and work to slow the spread of COVID-19. Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you at: https://vaccines.gov/

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