Currently Broadway is set to be dark for 4 weeks, and Roth says that many new shows don’t have the money in the bank to sustain a closure of much more than that – “It is very possible that shows may never reopen or may last only weeks after re-opening.” We also have to take into account the main demographic of Broadway audiences – tourists. “65% of the Broadway audience is tourists, so our return to stability will only come when this is resolved on an international level and when people are once again comfortable flying. And, nearly 16% of our audience is in the 65+ age range, which means they are also the ones who are most at risk from the disease,” says Roth.
And what does this closure mean for the shows that have yet to even open? This time in the industry is a critical one because the Tony Award eligibility cut off is at the end of April. According to Roth, “16 of the would-be 36 eligible productions this year had yet to open at the time of the shutdown. The next 8 weeks would have seen those productions open, as well as the beginning of the voting process. The fate of the Tony awards logistically, even if they are postponed, is up in the air.” Given that new productions are looking at a fraught future before they’ve even gotten their legs, what does this mean for the industry as a whole?
“The show development pipeline has been disrupted,” says Roth. “Even if we are only forced to stay closed for the bare minimum of 4-8 weeks, we will be feeling the repercussions of this for much, much longer.”
Richard is available to expand more on these points and speak on what the future of Broadway looks like in the wake of coronavirus. I would love to have you interview Richard about this story. Please check out additional information below and let me know what you think!