Theater Banned On Stage; Goes Online. Resources for Coping. #Stageworthy News of the Week

Within just the last two weeks, after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in New York City on March 1, the number of cases in NYC alone grew to 329, all of Broadway has been shut down at least until April 12th, and starting Tuesday March 17, all remaining legitimate theaters, movie theaters, and public schools have been ordered shut, and restaurants, nightclubs and bars will be restricted to take-out or delivery.

As I pointed out in writing up the last play I’m going to be seeing on stage for a while, The Fre at the Fleaon Friday the 13th:

The crisis now has left New Yorkers double if not triple shell-shocked, threatening our physical and mental health, and our livelihoods. But for now, the current crisis also largely denies us the community and spiritual uplift that theater provides in times of crisis.

At the top of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page put together by the Centers for Disease Control, it says: “CDC recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S.”

So talk of the theaters reopening in mid-April may be optimistic.

(A succinct 16-minute explanation of the public health crisis:

The theater community is already beginning to form a response — and a sense that theater will be going online.

The Show Goes Online

From New York Theater Workshop’s production of Martyna Majok’s “Sanctuary City” to La MaMa ETC’s “Re-Fest” — and shows in California theaters from ACT San Francisco to South Coast Rep —
theaters are turning to video capture to preserve live performances of shows that are shut or shutting down.


How can I watch actual theater – or Broadway-like shows — online?
Links to online services, several of them free in the month of March.


Livestreaming Panel: Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic, on Howlround Monday, March 16 at 8 p.m. ET

COVID-19 Freelance Artists Resources

An impressive list that includes links to everything from health institutions geared to artiststo funding sources to best practices for online teaching to how to “interrupt” racism and bias.

Department of Silver Lining

Shakespeare Wrote His Best Works During a Plague

Broadway is Closed: Write Poems Instead by Sarah Ruhl

The Outstanding Life of an Awkward Theater Kid. A theater kid book from Trumpland

Biographic Audrey: Audrey Hepburn’s Life as A Book of Infographics

Bob Avian, Hal Prince and Michael Bennett watching a rehearsal in Boston of “Company”

Dancing Man. Bob Avian’s six decades on Broadway.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

Leave a Reply