The New York Post reports concerns about the coronavirus has brought the curtain down on all Broadway shows as producers have announced a 4-6 week shut down.
The shut down is expected to last from four to six weeks.
Actor’s Equity Association, the union which represents actors and stage managers, has apparently pushed for the shut down out of concern for its members.
“Equity is driving this,” said one producer to the Post. “If actors don’t feel safe, they don’t have to perform.”
For Broadway theaters in Manhattan, these rules will go into effect at 5pm TODAY.
We have already spoken to the theaters about these new measures and they agreed.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 12, 2020
The pause in performances could have a long-lasting effect on several productions past the temporary shut down.
“The Minutes,” a new play by award-winning playwright Tracy Letts, was scheduled to open this Sunday night. The Post’s Michael Riedel reports it’s possible the production will close permanently without ever officially opening.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for “The Minutes” has since reached out to confirm the production “was always going to return and is confirmed to reopen the week of April 13.” The Post has updated its reporting as well.
Two productions scheduled to open this spring – Martin McDonagh’s “Hangman,” and the new “Sing Street” – may try to postpone until the fall.
Even long-running Broadway stalwarts could shutter due to the shutdown.
“The Phantom of the Opera,” the longest-running production on the Great White Way, is supported in great part by ticket sales to foreign tourists. Depending on the recently-announced travel bans, Michael Reidel at the Post suggests the show may shut down for good.
It’s estimated that the shutdown will cost more than $100m in ticket sales, reports The Guardian.
— Cheddar🧀 (@cheddar) March 12, 2020
Several major events have also announced shutting down.
The NCAA announced on Wednesday the upcoming college basketball March Madness tournament will have very severely attendance at games. Only essential coaching staff, players, and limited family members will be allowed to attend.
The NBA has canceled all games after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus this week. Since that announcement, two more Utah Jazz players have been diagnosed with the virus as well.
Carnegie Hall has suspended all performances through 31 March.
The Metropolitan Museum of New York will close indefinitely beginning Friday, March 13.
And music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach have been postponed until October amid coronavirus concerns, festival officials said. Both events were scheduled to take place in California’s Coachella Valley in April.