COVID-19 Impact on Broadway
October 7, 2021
COVID-19 has impacted the broadway business in numerous ways. Fans of these shows have been required to follow covid restrictions, making shows and play viewings plummet, and most plays’ showings have been cancelled due to the surge of COVID-19.
On May 5, 2021, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo spoke on the opening of broadway shows. He says, “Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume beginning this September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.” The Broadway website has created a guide to the shows playing again and where to buy tickets.
On September 24, 2021, the The “Dear Evan Hansen” movie premiered in all theaters across the states. This now adds on to the list of broadway shows turned into films following COVID-19. Dear Evan Hansen’s website states, “Broadway performances are currently suspended due to COVID-19. DEAR EVAN HANSEN will begin performances at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre on December 11, 2021.” Delany Ross (‘23), a very involved student in the theatre community says, “Covid-19 has drastically changed theatre’s presence in the world, and some changes have actually been really beneficial. Over the summer of 2020, many musicals were released on youtube for free for a set time limit so that people could still see and enjoy theatre even if it wasn’t live. I personally thought this was wonderful because I got to see some musicals that would otherwise be once-in-a-lifetime experiences. There were also more opportunities for workshops with famous actors virtually, and that was a great way for students to connect with professionals and work on material for when live theatre returns. I really hope some of these will continue beyond Covid because it was such an accessible way to learn from the professionals and to experience shows that not everyone gets to see.”
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Kaitlyn Dever, an actress in the “Dear Evan Hansen” movie was interviewed by “Variety.” Dever spoke on the COVID-19 protocols while filming, she says, “I think it’s just all about testing, testing, testing and making sure everyone is testing, too. We can all feel safe to be around each other and to work in a safe environment, so that when I have to go like, take off my mask to shoot a scene, everyone feels comfortable and safe.”
Over the past year, many prominent broadway shows have been turned into movies due to the effects of COVID-19. In July 2020, Disney Plus brought the popular play, “Hamilton,” into their streaming service so viewers could safely watch at home and follow the restrictions and safety guidelines. Another addition to the collection of broadway turning into movies is, “West Side Story,” coming to theaters December 11. This new idea of bringing theatre into the comfort and safety of home may have a big impact on the future of broadway.