What’s going on
- Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Broadway initially shut down March 12 and planned to reopen April 12, the Deseret News previously reported. That closure marked Broadway’s longest shutdown since 9/11.
- A few days before April 12, the closures extended to June 7, although many in the industry expected theaters could remain closed well past that date, according to the Deseret News.
- Now, Broadway has closed for the remainder of 2020, Broadway World reported Monday.
- Broadway theaters are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for all performances through Jan, 3, 2021, according to Broadway World.
What this means for Broadway shows
- The initial shutdown forced a temporary end to the runs of 31 plays and musicals, including crowd favorites like “Hamilton” and “The Lion King,” the Deseret News previously reported.
- The shutdown came at a busy time for Broadway, when 16 openings were scheduled between March 12 and April 23, the New York Times reported.
- Several shows, old and new, will not be able to recover from this setback.
What it means for the economy
- In March, the shutdown was predicted to cost tens of millions of dollars to investors and workers, the New York Times reported.
- The Broadway industry grossed $1.8 billion and drew 14.8 million patrons last season, according to the Times.
- Productions are currently projected to return over a series of rolling dates in early 2021, Broadway World reported.
- In the meantime, the Broadway League is working with city and state leaders to figure out future protocol for audience members and employees, including running screenings and testings, and sanitizing measures.
- Tickets for performances next winter and spring are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks.
- “The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal,” Thomas Schumacher, chairman of the Board of The Broadway League, said in a statement. “The alchemy of 1000 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,” Schumacher continued. “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.”