Discovery Theater's Health & Safety Protocols

As Discovery Theater prepares to return to live performances for our 2022-2023 season, we wanted to share more information about what we have done and are doing to make your in-person experience as safe as possible. These policies are meant to protect our audience, artists, and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Policies are subject to change based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local governments.

We ask that if you (or your student/child) feel sick, please stay home, even if you have tested negative for COVID-19. We are happy to discuss re-booking anyone who is feeling unwell to best protect our audience members, artists, and staff from illness.


Mask Policy

As of March 11, 2022, Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC are no longer requiring visitors to wear masks during their visit when Smithsonian Regional Levels for COVID-19 are in the Low or Medium Level. Masks will be required if Levels go into High.

Discovery Theater will be a mask-friendly environment and we strongly recommend that our audience members wear a mask while attending a performance at our theater due to being in close proximity to other school groups for an extended period of time. However, we also understand and respect that mask-wearing is a personal decision based on individual circumstances and will do our best to make sure everyone feels safe, comfortable, and enjoys the show!

Please note: At this time, any volunteers that are called onstage during shows will need to be wearing a mask in order to participate.  If you do not have one, we will provide one.  This is just to help keep our actors as safe as possible.


Vaccination Policy

Effective September 1, 2022, and based on recent CDC recommendations, Smithsonian Institution is no longer requiring program participants attending Smithsonian-sponsored activities to show proof of vaccination or negative test results. This includes Discovery Theater audience members.


Additional Safety Measures

  • Our Facilities Staff has enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures in the building for all common areas and restrooms with CDC- and EPA-approved disinfectants. Our theater staff is also disinfecting door handles, counters, and shared surfaces after every performance.
  • Increased ventilation and air purification: HVAC systems are circulating fresh, outside air at all times; and MERV 13 air filters have been installed, which efficiently capture COVID-19 virus particles and can help reduce the spread of viruses indoors.
  • Visitors are encouraged to wash and sanitize hands frequently during their visit. Hand-sanitizing stations are available throughout our building and outside the theater entrance.
  • At this time, shows will be sold to capacity, however, we plan to seat groups with some distance from one another. As a reminder, seating is always at the discretion of the House Manager, and we ask that you please sit in the section they direct you to. This will often be based on the size of your group, the age of your students, and the order in which you arrive to the theater.
  • Groups will enter the theater from one door and exit from another. Dismissal will also be staggered, and we ask that you please wait for your group name to be called before you attempt to stand and exit the theater. These measures will allow for less congestion and more space in the hallway both before and after the shows.
  • In a continued effort to reduce touchpoints, Learning Guides will only be offered digitally. The Learning Guide for your show will be linked in your pre-show email confirmation and post-show email survey, as well as on the individual show page on our website.


CDC Community Levels

Smithsonian aggregates CDC COVID-19 Community Level data for relevant counties, in addition to other factors, to determine Smithsonian Regional Levels. If the Smithsonian Regional Level for DC/MD/VA goes into the HIGH Level, in-person performances may not be possible without enforcing stricter mitigations (in addition to masks being mandatory). In this case, Discovery Theater will contact all ticket holders to discuss alternative options, such as livestreaming the performance via Zoom or moving to another date.