Bye-bye Broadway—’til 2021

Linda Armstrong | 7/2/2020, midnight
Theater is vital, it is healing, it is a chance to escape from the everyday and into a fantasy reality ...
Broadway Photo by Dimitris.s12 from Pexels

Theater is vital, it is healing, it is a chance to escape from the everyday and into a fantasy reality that is performed on the stage. When I go see a production I go in with an open mind, ready to be enlightened, uplifted, entertained and stunned by the brilliance of the tremendously talented people both on the stage and behind the scenes. At one point, it was said that Broadway theaters would come back in September, but it was recently announced that this will not occur for the rest of this year, due to COVID-19. This is such disappointing yet understandable news, since keeping actors, theater workers and the public safe is a major priority, something very much understood by the Broadway League.

The Broadway League has released updated information regarding performance cancellations and ticketing. Broadway theaters are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for all performances through Jan. 3, 2021.

Under the leadership of Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, the League is working with city and state officials, as well as leaders in science, technology and medicine, to formulate the best plan to restart the industry. Some of the logistics currently being reviewed for audience members and employees include: screening and testing, cleaning and sanitizing, wayfinding inside theaters, and backstage protocols.

Returning productions are currently projected to resume performances over a series of rolling dates in early 2021. Tickets for performances for next winter and spring are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks. For regular updates on ticket sales, individual show announcements, performance dates, and more, check Broadway.org for information as it becomes available.

“The Broadway experience can be deeply personal, but it is also, crucially, communal,” said Thomas Schumacher, chairman of the Board of the Broadway League. “The alchemy of 1,000 strangers bonding into a single audience, fueling each performer on stage and behind the scenes, will be possible again when Broadway theaters can safely host full houses. Every single member of our community is eager to get back to work sharing stories that inspire our audience through the transformative power of a shared live experience. 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. One thing is for sure, when we return we will be stronger and more needed than ever.”

“Our membership is working closely with the theatrical unions and in concert with key experts and some of the greatest minds inside and outside of the industry to explore protocols for all aspects of reopening. We are focused on identifying and implementing necessary measures that will enable us to resume performances safely for Broadway audiences and employees,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League. “We are determined to bring back the people who rely on this industry for their livelihood, and to welcome back all those who love this vital part of New York City, as soon as it is safe to do so. As so many of us in the Broadway community have been saying during this time, we’ll be back, and we have so many more stories to tell.”