In a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram account on Monday night, Osnes said she withdrew from a one-night benefit concert at East Hampton’s Guild Hall after the show’s COVID protocols changed and she needed proof of vaccination in order to join the production. In the Page Six report, a representative said performers and staff must be vaccinated or provide a negative COVID test, but Osnes, who is unvaccinated, said the option for a negative test was not extended to her. Osnes said she “would have tested in a heartbeat — something I have been doing for months, and will continue to do so, in order to keep working safely.”
In a statement to Variety, a Guild Hall spokesperson said there was a “miscommunication of our policy” and Osnes withdrew from the show.
“Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication of our policy, and Laura Osnes voluntarily opted out of the one-night only performance. She was graciously doing this event as a charitable gesture to Guild Hall, and for this we are grateful. Laura is a talented artist and we look forward to working with her again in the future,” the Guild Hall spokesperson said in a statement.
The performer said her withdrawal was “a drama-free and discrete transition,” and now her vaccination status has been “broadcast with an attitude of shame and demonization.”
Osnes explained her personal decision to not get vaccinated, saying in the future she may “feel more confident to consider a different position.”
“I stand by the decision my husband and I, with input from our physician, have made for ourselves, our family planning and our future. There is so much that is still unknown. Someday, perhaps we will feel more confident in the research to consider a different position,” she wrote. “With the information that is currently available, however, I have a conviction that I (and many others, both in and out of my industry) feel compelled to stand by.”
Osnes added, “Every soul is entitled to live according to their convictions and work without being publicly ostracized. My conviction does not discount my care and commitment to safety during this unprecedented time.”
Last month, the Broadway League announced that performers, audience members and staff at all theaters in New York must be vaccinated for productions through October 2021.
Osnes has starred in the Broadway productions of “Grease,” “South Pacific,” “Anything Goes,” “Bandstand,” “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” She earned best actress Tony Awards nominations for the latter two.