The Show Must Go On: Broadway has Reopened its Doors Amidst the Pandemic


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After 18 long months, the curtains have been raised on Broadway stages in New York City. Due to the current pandemic, Broadway was forced to shut down on March 12, 2020, and planned on reopening a month later, not knowing the stages across New York City would be empty for almost 2 years. 

The first show to open up in New York City was the play, Pass Over, on August 22nd at the August Wilson Theatre. To follow that, the Tony Award-winning musical Waitress, opened on September 2nd at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Additionally, the very popular show Hadestown opened on September 2nd at the Walter Kerr Theatre. More popular Broadway Musicals such as Hamilton, Wicked, and The Lion King all opened up on September 14th.


While Broadway lovers are able to sit back and enjoy the show, there are many Covid-19 related precautions put in place. Masks must be worn at all times while in the theatre – no exceptions. Additionally, Broadway goers are to be vaccinated and must show proof of vaccination at the doors before entering. The only non-vaccination exceptions are limited to audience members under 12, people with medical conditions, and religious beliefs – all are required to show proof of a negative Covid test beforehand. 


Audience members are not the only people affected by these safety precautions; Broadway performers and workers are also just as impacted. According to Actor’s Equity Association,  all cast and crew members must be vaccinated against Covid-19. Those who are not vaccinated or underage must practice social distancing and test twice a week. These precautions are put in place in order to maintain a healthy and safe working environment. 


Though Broadway reopening is the first step to normalcy in the city, the past months have been very difficult for Broadway workers economically. Many workers were left unemployed and panicked as they struggled with ways to support themselves at the time. Broadway stage manager Holly Coombs told BBC, “I was in shock, I didn’t have a plan.” BBC includes that Broadway supports more than 96,000 jobs in New York. Without Broadway, over 96,000 people were left with nothing for almost 2 years. Popular shows like Mean Girls and Disney’s Frozen permanently closed before Broadway’s return due to the impact of the pandemic.


Broadway has always been a big part of New York City. By Broadway reopening, it shows how even during these difficult times, the world has continued to persevere through it all. The lights have finally brightened Broadway’s stages once again.