Broadway will stay dark for the rest of the year

June 29, 2020

Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash

In mid-May, the Broadway League continued the suspension of all performances at New York City’s 41 Broadway theaters through Labor Day. At the time, however, many industry insiders said they expected the Great White Way to actually remain dark for much longer. And as of today, that’s become a reality. The League provided an update on their website that all performances in New York City will be suspended through the remainder of 2020.

Broadway first went dark on March 12, at which time 31 productions were running, including eight new shows in previews and in addition to eight more shows in rehearsals for spring openings.

Broadway theatres are offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for all performances through January 3, 2021. They’ll begin selling tickets for performances after that date in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the Broadway League is working on new protocols for the time that curtains rise again. According to their statement, “Some of the logistics being currently reviewed for audience members and employees include: screening and testing, cleaning and sanitizing, wayfinding inside theatres, backstage protocols, and much more.”

Chairman of the Board of The Broadway League Thomas Schumacher said in a statement:

The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal. 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.

In April, Actors’ Equity, the national labor union representing professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, announced that public health expert Dr. David Michaels, who formerly led OSHA for President Obama, had been brought on to develop new health and safety standards for the industry in light of COVID-19. “Before our members can safely return to work, we will need new protocols that protect audiences and workers alike,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association.

The announcement comes on the same day that New York City is considering rolling back indoor dining, which was supposed to begin on July 6th as the city enter phase three of reopening.

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on May 12, 2020, and has been updated with new information.


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