Jorgensen Center returning to in-person performances for 2021-2022 season

The Jorgensen Performing Arts Center is open for performances this semester. The full 2021-2022 season has been announced as theatre is slowly returning from the COVID-19 shutdown. Photo by Julie Spillane/Daily Campus

The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is restarting in-person performances for its 2021-2022 season but is modifying its operations to reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to a press release.  

Jorgensen Center has offered only virtual events since the start of the pandemic but will hold its first in-person event, a performance by comedian Jimmy O. Yang, on Oct. 9th, according to the press release.  

The Jorgensen Center’s Covid policy, found on their website, recommends that everyone entering the building be either fully vaccinated or take a COVID-19 test before coming.   

“All people entering Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated prior to arrival at Jorgensen [sic]. If unvaccinated, Jorgensen strongly encourages all visitors, staff, students and artists to receive a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival to Jorgensen,” the policy reads.  

There will be other measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as masking for all while inside the building, social distancing, available hand sanitizer and improved airflow, according to Rodney Rock, executive director of the Jorgensen Center.  

The policy says frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected daily in order to prevent the spread of diseases, including COVID-19, and that the air handlers in the building have been set to completely exchange the air in the main hall every 24 minutes.  

The Jorgensen Center will be operating at slightly less than 50 percent capacity this season, according to Rock. It normally has a capacity of 2,300 but will only be seating 1,000. 

Rock also said they will be using only the main hall seating this season and not the cabaret or chamber seating that they have used in the past.  

“We will not be using any of those alternate settings at all this year,” Rock said. 

Also, there will not be the same bar service that was offered in the past, according to Rock. 

“We may be offering a limited bar service prior to some events, but it won’t be quite the same as some of our events in the past,” Rock said.  

Tickets to the performance by Jimmy O. Yang on Oct. 9th, which were only available to UConn students and their family, have sold out, but Rock said that fewer tickets than usual are being sold for other events at the Jorgensen Center. 

Rock said tickets are selling every day, but “they are not selling quite as quickly as I would like to see them sell.”  

Rock said anyone hesitating about attending an event at Jorgensen because of concerns about COVID-19 should know they are taking all of the precautions they can to reduce the spread of the virus. 

“We are doing everything that we can to keep patrons as safe as possible,” he said. 

Additionally, Rock said that there will be a flexible refund policy during the fall in order to encourage people to buy tickets, even with the uncertainty of the pandemic. 

“We have patrons that are buying tickets every day. We are impressing on them that we have a pretty liberal refund policy through the fall at least,” Rock said. “We hope that reassures them as long as the cancellation is made before the show actually takes place we are more than happy to process a refund.”

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