Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that vaccination sites in the Theater District and mobile units for off-Broadway will be set up over the next four weeks. The sites will be specifically for theater workers and staffed by theater workers.
"It’s time to raise the curtain and bring Broadway back," de Blasio said during a virtual press conference Thursday. "The work we have to do now to get the theater community ready to make sure that this extraordinarily wonderful and important industry is good to go for the fall, we’ve got to do that now."
The Broadway League, a trade association for the industry, halted performances on March 12, 2020, as part of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. It's not clear exactly when they would reopen, but de Blasio suggested it could happen in the fall.
Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, said performances cannot resume without full capacity.
"We will not open to a socially distanced, partial audience. We cannot afford to," St. Martin said. "The financial model for Broadway does not allow us to have a 30% occupancy of a theater."
City and theater community leaders are working on a plan to manage crowds before and after shows that will ultimately lead to the reopening of theaters.
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"We are calling upon the state to please, quickly issue clear guidance for theater workers, in terms of mask usage, in terms of how we use proof of vaccination or proof of negative testing to help ensure that everyone can work and the crowds can come back in the fall," de Blasio said.
"Today's announcement is an important recognition from the City of New York that a strong theater industry means a healthy, strong economy," said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors' Equity Association.
With the Associated Press