Broadway theaters are not afraid of Coronavirus
Broadway theaters announced that: production schedules have not changed and producers are urging ticket-holders with cold or flu symptoms, or who are not feeling well, to stay home and contact their points of purchase about ticket exchanges.
A new statement released by the Broadway League – the trade group representing theater owners and producers – outlines additional measures being taken as cases of coronavirus continue to increase across the world.
“We invite patrons to make use of soap, paper towels, and tissues available in all restrooms,” it continues. “We remain vigilant, and we are prepared to make decisions based on current recommendations, as well as in response to changing conditions.”
The League says it is “closely monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation” and will follow strategies recommended by public health authorities, elected officials and the CDC. “We remain vigilant, and we are prepared to make decisions based on current recommendations, as well as in response to changing conditions.”
“Anyone who is experiencing cold or flu symptoms, or who is not feeling well, is encouraged to stay home and contact the point of purchase for more information about ticket exchanges and policies,” the statement says.
The most recent box office figures released by the League are for the week ending March 1, so do not reflect grosses or attendance for the most recent performances (those figures will be released Monday). The March 1 figures indicate that attendance was off only slightly, with other factors – the Madison Square Garden benefit performance of megahit “To Kill A Mockingbird” not figuring into the usual weekly box office figures, for example – likely playing a bigger role than coronavirus concerns. Anecdotal evidence and off-the-record comments suggest ticket-buying and attendance have not been significantly dented, but producers’ concerns are real and growing.
The illness couldn’t have arrived at a worse time of the year for Broadway, with awards season in sight and the spring openings of major productions already underway. (“Girl From The North Country” opened last night, and much-anticipated shows including “Six,” “Company,” “Hangmen,” “Diana” and “The Lehman Trilogy,” to name just a sampling, are either in previews or about to be.)