CCAC’s COVID-19 Plan for Theatre Reopening

The State of Maryland has now entered Stage 3 of its reopening process, meaning live entertainment venues can now open with limited capacity. In light of this announcement, the Arts Council has prepared this plan for the return of live events in our theatre. We’re excited to welcome our audiences back for concerts, dance performances, and more in the safest manner possible. Our plan follows the State of Maryland’s reopening guidelines and recommendations for theatres. 

We will continue to track public health guidelines and will make changes accordingly.

New CCAC Procedures and Policies for Health and Safety

Enhanced Cleaning

  • Doubling the amount of professional cleanings of public spaces.
  • Daily sanitizing of staff offices, lobby, galleries, and restrooms with more frequent sanitizing based on level of attendance.
  • A ULV fogging machine will sanitize all seats, armrests, railings, and handles in the theatre and lobby after events.
  • Careful sanitization of backstage area, stage, and technical equipment after events.

Screening and Sanitization

  • Staff and volunteers on premises will complete COVID-19 screening prior to each shift, with emergency backup plans to maintain service in the event of a sick staff member.
  • Staff and volunteers will wear masks at all times when there is potential for interaction with the public.
  • All guests over the age of 2 will be expected to wear a mask while in the building.
  • All performers will complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire before their scheduled performance.
  • Ticket holders will be emailed a CDC-approved wellness self-assessment before the performance. We’ll have liberal exchange and refund policies for ticket holders who are unable to responsibly attend.
  • Touchless hand sanitizer stations will be in multiple locations throughout the building. 
  • Staff and volunteers will receive additional regular training to administer safe COVID-19 plans.


  • Regular CCAC staff will continue remote working as possible, with limited staff on duty during non-event times. 
  • There will be designated entry/exit points and one-way traffic in certain areas.
  • Enhanced signage will be visible throughout the building reminding visitors of social distancing, wearing face masks, and our other health policies.
  • Occupancy in the building will be limited so that visitors can safely socially distance.
  • Staff and volunteers will wear face masks when interacting with the public.
  • Concessions and refreshments will be temporarily limited or absent from most events.
  • Outside food or drink is still not permitted in the theatre except for personal water bottles.
  • The water fountain will not be available for use. Water bottles are available upon request.
  • A newly installed HVAC system will improve air flow throughout the building (including the theatre).

Ticketing and Seating

  • Theatre events will have limited tickets available to ensure social distancing.
  • Due to both limited tickets and best health practices, guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online and to use paperless tickets when possible.
  • All audience members will be seated by ushers to maintain appropriate social distancing according to CDC recommendations.
  • No more than 6 individuals can be seated together in a group.
  • Seating will begin 45 minutes before an event in order to ensure sufficient time for safe ushering.

Theatre Events

  • Performers will remain on stage or backstage throughout their stay, at least 12 feet from any audience member and with limited interactions between staff members or volunteers.
  • Performers will be given early access to stage for tech checks in order to facilitate early seating.
  • Audience members will be required to wear facial coverings throughout the entire performance.
  • Events will be conducted without an intermission to reduce chances for close contact.
  • Upon completion of events, the audience will be ushered out of the theatre one row at a time, starting from the back.

Known Exposure of COVID-19

  • To the extent possible, records will be kept of all staff, volunteers, and audience members present during an event to assist with contact tracing efforts.
  • In the event of known staff/volunteer/audience exposure: 
    • affected staff/volunteer will self-quarantine for 14 days and/or seek medical assistance
    • additional staff will receive COVID-19 test if on premises with affected individual
    • contact information for audience members will granted to public health authorities
    • CCAC will remain closed to the public until sufficient staff are proved COVID-19-negative
    • CCAC will thoroughly re-sanitize the building before reopening