Broadway Reopening: What You Need to Know
On March 20, 2020, Broadway suddenly closed its doors. The pandemic hit Broadway hard and the community has been trying to recover ever since. Now, there seems to be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
"It's time to raise the curtain and bring Broadway back," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a virtual press conference on March 25. Broadway and off-Broadway took a big hit after the pandemic started, many shows having to be canceled. Mayor de Blasio announced his plans regarding the reopening of Broadway. According to USA Today, part of his plan includes “vaccination sites for Broadway performers and theater workers to ensure shows can return to the city this fall.” Along with vaccination sites, the plan also includes “pop-up coronavirus testing sites near theaters” and “crowd management before and after shows.”
“We want to get the Broadway community involved, and the Off-Broadway community, in vaccinating their own folks, by definition a very high percentage of whom are eligible right now,” Mayor de Blasio said in the virtual conference.
According to The New York Times, earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that arts and entertainment venues “can reopen April 2 at 33 percent capacity, with a limit of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors, and higher limits if patrons show they have tested negative for the coronavirus.” However, many Broadway producers say that this isn’t possible, especially not economically, to “run commercial productions at reduced capacity” and “full-scale plays and musicals are not likely to open until after Labor Day,” said The New York Times.
It’s been over a year since Broadway shut down. Workers have been left trying to get health insurance and searching for grants or unemployment benefits. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis in an article published by Variety, “the halt also marks the extended stoppage of a national economic engine: Arts and cultural activity accounts for 4.5% of the country’s gross domestic product.”
"We've got to lay the groundwork for a strong comeback for Broadway and off-Broadway. Our theater community needs it...our city needs it, too. It's part of our identity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.