The world of live performance has been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With pride we acknowledge that site-specific opera falls between the lines of the conventional performing arts. Not only does this permeate how we create intimate shows, but it also affects how we mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in the work we do. Below you will find protocols that are specifically crafted for how we produce and perform What Lies Beneath. These protocols were designed to take each step in risk mitigation and evaluate how to implement them for our production on the Tall Ship Wavertree at the South Street Seaport Museum. We have partnered with the Museum in devising these plans and have taken into consideration opera and theatre industry standards, union guidelines, New York State, NYC, and federal regulations, as well as CDC recommendations.

The following protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for our upcoming production What Lies Beneath at the South Street Seaport Museum are in effect:

  • Audience members will be required to provide proof of full vaccination at the entry to the Tall Ship Wavertree regardless of age. OSO performers, staff, and ushers are also required to be fully vaccinated.

Full vaccination of COVID-19 is two weeks after your 2nd shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after your one shot of the J&J/Janssen vaccine.

Proof of vaccination includes showing your paper vaccination card or a photocopy of it for review by OSO staff or providing your vaccine passport via the Excelsior Pass. Excelsior Pass is currently only available to individuals who were vaccinated in New York State. For more information about the Excelsior Pass, please visit

  • Masks are required for all audience members. Ushers and Front of House staff will be wearing masks at performances. Performers will be unmasked for performances. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided for you.
  • Audience members will be seated 12 ft away from performers when they are singing. When performers are not singing, they may pass briefly closer to seated patrons. With a fully vaccinated audience at an outdoor venue, patrons will be seated with minimal distancing from each other and will travel between seating sections with minimal distancing.
  • OSO will NOT require testing of audience members. However, strict weekly testing protocols are in place for performers and staff.
  • OSO requires patrons who are sick or exhibiting symptoms to stay home. Symptoms of COVID19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
    • High-touch areas will be cleaned regularly, and OSO will provide hand sanitation areas on and near the Tall Ship Wavertree.
    • What Lies Beneath will be performed completely outside on the deck of the Tall Ship Wavertree
    • Should someone test positive for COVID19, OSO is required to report this to New York State Department of Health and patrons will be contacted by a contact tracer.

    For questions regarding our COVID-19 safety protocols, please contact Christopher Staub, Director of Production & Artistic Operations/COVID-19 Compliance Manager at


    For a full breakdown of On Site Opera’s protocols for Employees, Performers, and Audience Members, CLICK HERE.

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