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THEATRE

Broadway Shows Not Coming Back Until 2021

By Linda Armstrong

COVID-19 Shuts Down Broadway Until 2021!

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theatre world had to suddenly halt in the middle of March and it has been decided that theatre will not occur again until 2021. The Broadway League that decides what happens on the Great White Way, is trying to figure out how to bring back theatre safely for both the audience members and the cast, stagehands and everyone involved with putting on a production.

Hearing that Broadway was stopped was something I never thought I would experience in my life time and it was devastating, but understandable.

The Broadway League has information regarding performance cancellations and ticketing. Broadway theatres are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for all performances through January 3, 2021. The Broadway 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 being currently reviewed for audience members and employees include: screening and testing, cleaning and sanitizing inside theatres, and backstage.

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.

"The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal," said Chairman of the Board of The Broadway League, Thomas Schumacher.  "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 theatres 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.”

Those holding tickets for performances through January 3, 2021 will receive an e-mail from their point of purchase with detailed information regarding refund and exchange options. Any customers holding tickets through January 3, 2021 that have not received an e-mail are advised to contact their point of purchase for assistance.

Broadway performances were suspended on March 12, 2020. At that time, 31 productions were running, including 8 new shows in previews. Additionally, 8 productions were in rehearsals preparing to open in the spring.

Tony Award winning Black director Kenny Leon, responding to the news of Broadway shutting down until 2021 said, “I only await its reopening when our venues are safe for artists and audiences to gather and share a diversity of stories. This time off gives us time to work on America’s flaws and to concentrate on creating a more beautiful world eliminating injustice wherever we find it-including in our commercial theatres.”



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