DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Center for the Performing Arts will require all guests 12 and older to be vaccinated before attending a show, and all guests 11 and younger will have to present a recent negative COVID-19 test result. And, with all guests required to wear masks throughout performances, those who work in the performing arts say they feel safe returning to work.

(credit: CBS)

The performing arts are among the most drastically hit businesses during the pandemic. Actors, musicians, stage crew and more have been left largely without work for more than a year. Now, with a decision to require vaccines for most, and masks for all, at least one performing arts employee said this is a promising time for the business.

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“Seeing the DCPA make that kind of announcement, to me that is just wonderful,” said Christopher Lutz, a Denver-based Audio Technician who frequently works with Broadway tours.

Lutz said the past year and a half has been heartbreaking for most people who work in the arts.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s been like the yearlong vacation I never asked for,” Lutz told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.

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DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden said the decision to require vaccines for most guests was made with the health of both guests and workers in mind.

“This public health decision by us as resident companies on the arts complex is really a message to say, ‘We want you to come back we have missed live theater so much,’” Sinden said. “When you’re sharing an arm rest with someone right there in the theater, often a tissue as well, you need to make sure that everyone feels safe in the environment.”

Lutz said the decision actually brings guests up to speed with most performing arts workers.

(credit: CBS)

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“(Currently touring shows) are doing rapid testing to all stage hands now, and there is also a vaccine requirement too. Across the industry this is what everything is moving toward,” Lutz said. “We’re all happy to just get back to work and do what we are really good at doing.”

Dillon Thomas