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Valley Youth Theatre Puts 2021-2022 Season On Hold

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VYT's Physician Advisory Panel consists of front-line workers, physicians and board members who are available to answer questions.

In conjunction with their Physician Advisory Panel, Valley Youth Theatre will continue to pause its 2021-2022 season until the safety of its young performers is more certain.

"After lengthy conversations with our physician advisory panel, we have confirmed that it still too risky to put unmasked and unvaccinated young performers next to each other on stage and it is still unsafe for the young people in the audience" explained Bobb Cooper, Valley Youth Theatre's Producing Artistic Director.

Cooper continued, "while we know that many families will be disappointed that they won't be able to experience the holiday tradition of A Winnie-The-Pooh Christmas Tail at VYT, we have to put the health and safety of our young people first."

VYT's Physician Advisory Panel consists of front-line workers, physicians and board members who are available to answer questions and ensure VYT is consistent with its COVID policies. Explains Cooper, "parents want their children back on stage. We all want our children back on stage, but our decisions need to be based on guidance from health care professionals. That's why we started our physician advisory panel."

With this said, there seems to be a light at the end of the pandemic. While recent reports show that Arizona currently leads the nation in COVID-19 transmissions, both Cooper and the Panel are encouraged by the recent approval of the COVID vaccine for children ages 5-11, and what it could mean for getting children back on VYT's stage and in seats.

"We are excited for 2022," said Cooper.

While the stage lights have been off, Valley Youth Theatre has continued its mission of inspiring young people to be the best that they can be through a wide variety of performing arts opportunities. Through its classes, virtual programming, special events, community partnerships with VMLC, Hospice of the Valley and Phoenix Children's Hospital, and its Literacy and The Arts school program, VYT has served over 1600 children since the start of the pandemic.

For more information on Valley Youth Theatre, visit www.vyt.com.


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