Liz Carr has urged theaters to ask audiences to wear face masks so people with medical conditions can attend.
The actress and comedian, who suffers from a rare condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, made her stage debut last year for her role in Larry Kramers The normal heart in the National Theater.
It is the first time that her role as Dr. Emma Brookner – based on real-life doctor Linda Laubenstein, who was in a wheelchair – was played by an actor who uses a wheelchair.
Carr won Best Actress in a Supporting Role during the Olivier Awards on Sunday night (April 10) but had to wait backstage as the nominations were read. She then used her speech to call for “accessible ceremonies” and encourage directors to work with disabled actors.
Speak with BBC NewsCarr said that if she had been on stage longer, she would have mentioned how theater can be made more accessible to audiences with health conditions.
“I haven’t been to the theater in over two years,” she said. “This is a scary night for me.
“Now you could say, ‘Yeah, but you did a play in front of 1,200 people every night, Liz.’ Yes, but I was on stage with all the testers, everyone in the cast was testing every day, so I felt safer than being a random member of the public in an audience of people I didn’t know.”
Carr added that she believes theaters should require audiences to wear face masks during certain performances to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
“I think theaters could think about having safer performances,” she said.
“I think they should have face mask performances that are more socially distanced. Just as you might have a performance in British Sign Language, I think you should have more Covid-safe performances.
Carr said she believes some performances could have reduced capacity and mandatory face masks for viewers: “Every show should do this to ensure theater remains accessible, even for those of us with health conditions.”
Since Covid-19 restrictions were eased, spectators in the theater are no longer required to wear masks.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/liz-carr-masks-theatre-olivier-awards-b2055472.html Olivier winner Liz Carr says theaters should bring back mask-only performances to improve accessibility