Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

As we reopen our theater, the health and safety of our artists, staff, volunteers, and patrons remain our #1 priority. For our 2021-2022 season, performances may be streamed online, presented live in-person, or a combination of both, as we follow state and local mandates regarding indoor public gatherings. Guidelines are more lenient for small venues like the 298-seat Saratoga Theater than they are for large auditoriums and arenas. We will use this page as well as email to keep patrons updated about changes and mandates as they happen. (Join our mailing list here.) Please understand that all performances are subject to change based on state and local health and safety mandates. Thank you in advance for your flexibility, patience, and understanding.

The information presented here is relevant to South Bay Musical Theatre and its operations in Santa Clara County, and is based upon the State Public Health Order effective on June 15, 2021. The content of this page is subject to change, and will be updated as soon as practicable upon changes to health orders and/or SBMT policy.

Patrons and Company Members (Staff, Cast, Crew, Orchestra, and Volunteers) must always adhere to state and local health ordinances. This FAQ is provided only as supplemental guidance, and to communicate SBMT policy when it goes beyond state and local requirements.

Updates to this page are summarized here:

  • January 7, 2022: With the current Omicron wave, our vaccination and masking requirements no longer seem to offer a strong enough assurance that no one is spreading Covid at our event. So to protect you, our audience, and to avoid any potential community spreading, we are rescheduling COMPANY and BROADWAY IN LOVE to later dates (to be announced). Details here.
  • September 9, 2021: Added clarification regarding “fully vaccinated” with respect to availability of booster shots. Currently the CDC has not changed the definition of “fully vaccinated”, and booster shots (3rd shots of Pfizer or Moderna, or a 2nd shot of Jansen) are not currently required to meet this definition.
  • August 7, 2021: Full COVID vaccination or negative COVID PCR test is now required for all event attendees.
  • August 2, 2021: A new Santa Clara County health order now requires the use of masks in all indoor public settings. This doesn’t change our existing policy, since we were already requiring masks indoors based on the county’s earlier recommendation.
  • July 28, 2021: SBMT’s policy on indoor masking for patrons and company members was changed in response to the CDC’s recommendation for indoor masking, even among vaccinated individuals.

FAQ about COVID

For Patrons

Q: Are you requiring that all patrons be fully vaccinated or have a recent negative COVID test?
A: Yes. All attendees, regardless of age, are required to show proof of full COVID vaccination or a negative PCR test (taken within 72 hours of the performance time) for entry into the venue. “Fully vaccinated” means that your performance date is at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose. Updated Oct 9,2021: The CDC has not changed the definition of “fully vaccinated” in light of the availability of booster shots. “Fully vaccinated” only requires the initial vaccination series to be completed.

In order to enter the performance venue, all attendees must present:

  • A Photo-ID (Driver’s License, ID Card, Passport, Student ID)

And one of the following:

  • Proof of COVID vaccination – either your physical CDC vaccination card, a picture of it, or a digital vaccination record showing completion of vaccination at least 14 days prior to the performance date.
  • The negative test result of a COVID PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the performance time.

Q: Are you requiring that patrons wear masks?

A: Yes. All patrons, regardless of age and vaccination status, are required to wear masks at all times inside the venue and outside when in close proximity to others (except when consuming food or beverage). Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted for eating or drinking – masks must be worn between bites and sips.

Note: While all patrons, staff, and crew are required to wear masks, actors who are actively performing on-stage will not be masked, and will maintain appropriate distance from masked patrons as permitted by the August 2 county health order. This is subject to change based on local conditions and subsequent health orders.

Q: How can I help SBMT?

A: There are several ways you can help SBMT:

  • Become a subscriber to our upcoming season.
  • Become a monthly donor.
  • Make a one-time donation to SBMT (which will be matched by the Law-Sun Community Fund through August 22, 2021).

Q: Will the theater be operating at full capacity? Will I have the option to choose seats that are distanced from others?
A: Based on currently applicable regulations, SBMT is planning to operate at full capacity this Fall, and will not be offering distanced seating options.

Q: Will there be any way to watch the performance online?
A: We currently have backup plans to offer online viewing options for the Fall Mainstage Show, but only if we are unable to perform live at full capacity.

Q: Will concessions be sold at the performance?
A: No concessions will be sold at our Fall Mainstage Musical, SHOUT (which is a one-act show, and doesn’t have an intermission). Check back for updates on other shows in our season.

Q: What if I am feeling ill the day of the performance?
Q: What if I have been exposed to COVID-19 prior to the performance?
Q: What if a performance is canceled, or you are not able to operate at full capacity?
Q: What if I am uncomfortable with, unable, or unwilling to meet the venue entry requirements?
A: SBMT will offer exchanges or refunds to anyone who is unable or unwilling to meet the venue entry requirements, not feeling well at the time of the performance, has had a recent exposure to COVID-19, or if some or all tickets need to be canceled in order to meet restrictions in effect at the time of the performance. To request an exchange or refund, please call the box office at 408-266-4734 prior to curtain time on or before the date of the ticketed performance.

Q: How will SBMT communicate changes to the performance schedule or venue entry requirements?
A: All performance schedule changes, cancellations, or changes to venue entry requirements will be communicated via email to the address provided at the time of purchase. All patrons will receive a reminder email from boxoffice@southbaymt.com within 24 hours of the performance with relevant information.

Q: What happens if SBMT learns that a patron who attended a performance later tested positive for COVID-19?
A: SBMT will comply with all applicable reporting and contact tracing requirements.

Have a question you don’t see answered here? Please send it to covidfaq@southbaymt.com.

COVID policy

For Staff, Cast, Crew, Musicians, and Volunteers

Note: “Company Members,” as referred to below, includes all Staff, Cast, Crew, Musicians, and Volunteers, including front-of-house, concessions, ushers, and box office volunteers.

Q: Is there a vaccination requirement for Company Members?
A: SBMT requires all Company Members to be fully vaccinated.

Q: How is SBMT keeping its Company Members safe?
A: SBMT will comply with all applicable workplace safety requirements.

Q: Are Company Members required to wear masks at rehearsals and/or performances?
A: In accordance with the August 2 county health order, masks will be required for all indoor rehearsals, auditions, and programs. Although the August 2 health order does permit mask removal for “practice” and “performance” situations, masks will be kept on whenever possible for rehearsals. Our current plan is to perform without masks, and maintain appropriate distance from masked patrons as permitted in the August 2 county health order, however this plan will necessarily adjust based on local conditions.

Q: Can I still wear a mask even if I’m not otherwise required to?
A: Yes. The State Guidance on Face Coverings states that “No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.”

Q: Will you have understudies? Which roles?
A: SBMT is currently seeking understudies whenever possible and practical.

Q: What happens if SBMT learns that there was a possible COVID-19 exposure within the company?
A: SBMT will comply with all applicable reporting and contact tracing requirements.

Q: Who determines if a Company Member should not come to rehearsal or be sent home from rehearsal based on symptoms?
A: Any Company Member who is experiencing COVID symptoms (see CDC site at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html) is required to inform a staff member, and is prohibited from attending rehearsals until receiving a negative COVID test.

Q: What (if anything) is being done to enhance the air circulation in the theater, dressing rooms, green room, lobby bathrooms, and rehearsal facility?
A: When possible, practical, and safe to do so, SBMT will maximize outdoor air for ventilation.

Have a question you don’t see answered here? Please send it to covidfaq@southbaymt.com.