Theatre News

Broadway venues to reopen for socially distanced pop-up performances

The lights are looking to be switched on on the Great White Way


Broadway's Music Box Theatre, La MaMa, Park Avenue Armory, St Ann's Warehouse, and the Apollo Theatre are among what are being described as "Flex Venues" that will reopen from 2 April to host performances as part of the NY PopsUp series – which we previously covered here.

NY PopsUp, the new festival of pop-up events overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, was established to help revitalise the spirit and emotional well-being of New York citizens through the energy of live performance set over 100 days throughout New York City and State.

The New York State Department of Health and NY PopsUp are collaborating with Broadway theatre operators to create specific safety plans for each participating building, in advance of April's first performances.

This thorough process will serve as Broadway's own pilot program that will increase audience size over time as the US Department of Health allows, and will put select protocols into action as New York prepares for Broadway's complete re-opening. Flex venues are established performance spaces that are able to be adapted for social distancing guidelines.

At the moment, these audiences will be relatively small: attendee capacity of any performance must be limited to the lesser of 33 per cent of the maximum occupancy for the particular area – or 50 people; exclusive of performers, crew, and other staff who are necessary for the event.

From 2 April 2021, the number of attendees may exceed the social gathering limit of 50 people, up to a maximum of 150 attendees, within a 33 per cent maximum occupancy limit for the particular area so long as all attendees receive an appropriate negative Covid test result prior to the event.

It's small steps for the New York community, but bodes well for the coming months as shows on both sides of the Atlantic look to reopening.

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