Broadway’s stages will stay dark for the coming months. The shutdown is now set to extend through early January.
Broadway League announced producers have offered refunds and exchanges for shows purchased through January 3rd. Last season, Broadway shows attracted a record 15 million people.
This year Coronavirus has created an unprecedented challenge for the institution. Now the question remains- how can Broadway reopen safely?
On March 12, all theaters were closed, halting the current run of shows and postponing indefinitely the Tony awards.
Thoman Schumacher, chairman of the board of The Broadway League has said “The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, cummunial.” He went on, “The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our highest priority and we look forward to returning to our stages only when it’s safe to do so.”
According to a statement released by the League “Returning productions are currently projected to resume performances over a series of rolling dates in early 2021. Industry leaders are in talks with government and medical officials, still deciding how best to handle the challenges ahead, including “screening and testing, cleaning and sanitizing, wayfinding inside theaters, backstage protocols and much more.”
With the latest extension in place, it’s unclear when audiences will get to see many of the shows previously planned for fall. Shows now slated for next year include a revival of The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.
There seems to be no plan in place for shows previously scheduled to open this spring. Those include Hangman and a revival of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The Minutes by Tracey Letts and David Mamet’s American Buffalo are now slated for spring 2021, one year after their originally scheduled opening.
SOURCE: Broadway League
Laura Day is a Reel New York correspondent. Contact her at Laura@reelchicago.com