KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An increasing number of businesses in the Kansas City-area are requiring proof of vaccination before entering their establishments.
"When the mask mandate came down and we realized if we don’t limit the theater to just those that have been vaccinated, then everyone has to wear masks, including our actors on stage, and we don’t want to give an inferior experience to our customers and our patrons," said Tim Marks, owner of The KC Improv Company.
Marks said over the course of the pandemic they've had to cancel over 300 shows and 200 classes.
"It’s been very difficult not to perform for a year," said actor Danielle Anderson.
They don't want to be in that position again, so they hope this move makes more people get vaccinated and keeps everyone safe.
"It’s the right decision for the community, I feel so much safer as a cast member knowing our crews and audiences will be safe as well," Anderson added.
There's another benefit to requiring everyone to be vaccinated, not everyone is required to mask up.
"If half your face is covered, then half of your emotional expressions can’t be seen, and that’s a large part of acting and performing," Marks said.
KSHB 41 News spoke with Frank Lenk, director of research services at Mid-America Regional Council, about the rising number of businesses requiring vaccinations to enter.
"I think what's happening is that businesses are sensing that if they don’t do something, we run the risk of the pandemic resurging and getting worse and having things shut down," Lenk said.
Lenk points out most businesses are doing this for safety and to help stop the spread of COVID-19, keeping the economy afloat. But for how long is still to be determined.
"Still remains the question as to how it will spread, how many employers will actually do this," Lenk said. "There could only be a few restaurants that do it or it could spread to businesses generally."
For now, the laughter, smiles and ad-libs will continue as there's no script for how long this pandemic will drag on.
The KC Improv Company said they'll have this requirement in place for as long as masks are required indoors in Kansas City.