Recently The Metropolitan Opera announced the cancellation of the entire 2020-21 season and Broadway League further postponed the opening of theatres on Broadway and Off-Broadway. But several open air venues including The Shed, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Park Avenue Armory, BRIC, Harlem Stage, National Black Theatre, and the Perelman Center are looking to get things moving a little sooner than next summer.
Non-profit venues, the theatres believe that they can properly arrange seating to meet social distancing requirements.
The theatres are attempting to urge New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow them to open with a mask requirement and limited capacity.
The organizations point out that some indoor facilities including bowling alleys and museums are currently open.
National Black Theatre chief executive Sade Lythcott noted, “until we can safely get audiences into our spaces, we can’t do what it is that we actually do.”
The state advisory committee NY Forward supports the idea. Co-chair Steven M. Cohen said, “it’s reasonable to assume spaces like the ones in the coalition will open sooner than traditional theatres like those on Broadway.”
There have already been some artistic events allowed to operate with a limited capacity and no audiences.
St. Ann’s Warehouse performed a rooftop concert and the Park Avenue Armory has begun rehearsals for “Afterwardness”. The She is scheduled to open on October 16 with a new art exhibit.
If the venues get the go ahead, The Shed will be among the first to open with a revamped version of “Help”. Originally set for 19 actors, the show will be reworked as a monologue.