As performing arts organizations across the country announce plans to forgo their fall programming, Broadway is following suit. The Broadway League has announced that all productions will remain closed through at least January 3, 2021.
While it is now official, the decision does not come as a surprise. The League stated in May that while shows would be dark through September 6, this date serves more as a determination of how late productions would offer refunds and exchanges than as a look into when the curtain will rise again.
Once that is able to happen, audiences can expect shows to return on a rolling basis, rather than on one specific date. Details concerning this scheduling and ticketing will be announced in the coming weeks.
Some productions had already made such calls prior to the industry-wide announcement. The revival of The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, moved its fall opening to May 2021 last week. Both Lincoln Center Theater and Roundabout Theatre Company announced new spring dates for their upcoming titles.
Broadway musicals were first impacted by Governor Andrew Cuomo's mass gathering restrictions March 12. The shutdown was initially slated for a month before being pushed until June 7 (what was at one point to be the date of the 74th annual Tony Awards) and then into September.
League President Charlotte St. Martin is among the figureheads on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's Arts, Culture, and Tourism Sector Advisory Council. Multiple task forces and think tanks have formed to examine the myriad factors involved with reopening the theatre district. Some of these groups are working with leaders in the medical and tech fields to consider in-theatre screening, testing, and sanitization protocols.
“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," St. Martin said in a new statement. “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.”