Projected reopening of Broadway shows


photo via NYCgo

On March 12, 2020, all 41 Broadway theatres were shuttered due to the rising coronavirus. 

Originally, the beloved program only planned to close for a month and all shows rehearsing and touring were put on temporary hold. But, the respite never ended.

Because of the program’s magnitude, Broadway has been diligently pushing for reopening. Many dates have been suggested but thrown out due to the duration of the pandemic, many thought would only last a month. Now, about eight months later, a new plan for reopening has been released.

Broadway recently announced shows will be able to resume as early as May 30, 2021. It is then up to the discretion of each individual show when they reopen after this date; however, with this timeline, most shows would not be performance-ready until fall of 2021. 

“If they told us on May 30 that we were able to go back to working, raise those curtains, then it would be two more months than we could do that,” said Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League. “And that’s really a minimum of two months. For some shows, it will take longer.”

In Broadway’s hub, New York City, popular shows such as “Hamilton,” “The Lion King” and “Moulin Rouge,” were hauling in millions of dollars a week from tickets alone before the pandemic. 

According to an annual report published by the Broadway League, shows amassed more than $1.83 billion from May 28, 2018 to May 26, 2019. However, Broadway only garnered about $300 million before all theaters shut down. 

“There are 97,000 jobs attached to Broadway for both the people we employ or cause to be employed,” St. Martin said. “So all of those people are affected, whether it be their rent, their health insurance or the food they put on their table.” 

Everyone connected to Broadway has been hit hard by the pandemic. 

Max Clayton is an ensemble member in the Broadway show Moulin Rouge and his partner Matt Doyle is an actor in the Stephen Sondheim revival of “Company.” Clayton was in the midst of performing Moulin Rouge and Doyle’s show was just 10 days away from opening night when Broadway closed its doors. Now, they are only bringing in about one-tenth of what they normally would before the shutdown. 

“I’m so terrified of not being able to support myself,” Doyle said. “Even the $300 that we are given right now, that’s going to run out too. It’s grocery money, and the rest we have to figure out how to pay for. It’s been very frightening.”

For the sake of every performer, theater worker and musical goer, hopefully this plan remains possible. Until then, Broadway, usually illuminated under the spotlight of New York City, will remain dark.