The theater world suffered another blow last week after the Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway theater industry, announced that performances on the Great White Way would not resume at least until the 30th. May 2021, with some claiming performance could be postponed until next fall.
With nearly 97,000 workers dependent on Broadway for their livelihoods and an annual economic impact of $ 14.8 billion for the city, our members are committed to reopen as soon as conditions permit, Charlotte St. Martin, President of Broadway League said in a statement last week. We are working tirelessly with multiple partners to support the industry once we raise the curtains again.
Like thousands of businesses, schools and cultural institutions, the coronavirus pandemic forced the city’s theaters to close in the spring as officials tried to curb the spread of the virus. Just in this short time, officials of the
Initially, the Broadway League suspended its 31 shows for 32 days, but it has since been forced to repeatedly delay the reboot or kill the shows. Since then, New York City has reached phase four of Governor Andrew Cuomos’ reopening plan, which allows for the reopening of museums, botanical gardens, zoos and other outdoor activities. New York’s public schools have partially reopened with a blended learning model, and indoor meals have resumed at reduced capacity.
Cases of the virus recently passed 3% again after an increase in the virus in nine Brooklyn and Queens zip codes. In response, the state issued restrictions on the closure of schools, businesses and places of worship in areas of “concern”.
But as other areas of life return to normal, artists and their colleagues behind the scenes are still left behind. After performances were delayed again over the summer, Manuel Cortes, 29, knew he couldn’t wait any longer and is working to return to his native Mexico after 10 years of performing in off-Broadway shows and to push for a dream of one day on Broadway.
“It’s heartbreaking because I’ve spent my entire adult life chasing this,” Cortes said. “I can’t stay here anymore, I’m not getting any help.” Since the shutdown, many players in the city have had to rely solely on weekly checks of $ 600 from the federal government to make ends meet. Many traditional survival jobs for performers, such as restaurant work and bartending, have been killed during the pandemic. But Washington stopped issuing weekly stimulus checks at the end of July and a new stimulus package doesn’t appear to be coming soon, prompting many to look for other options.
Some of Cortes’ acting friends found work in other fields, two were fortunate enough to land gigs working as contact tracers, to help them survive the pandemic. Especially blessed people got financial help from bosses at part-time concerts or their remaining survival jobs. Actor Sean Bernardi has been able to count on his job at an Upper East Side piano bar called Brandy’s as he awaits the chance to co-direct a two-person performance on Christine Jorgenson, the first transgender person to undergo surgery. reassignment, in person.
Bernardi believes that the New York theater, and all the performing arts, will be able to survive this difficult time. It’s like New York, everyone says it’s dead, but New York has survived for hundreds of years and is still bouncing back, ”Bernardi told amNewYork Metro.
While others, like Tommy McDowell, whose most recent work includes the role of Peter on the Jesus Christ Superstar 50th anniversary tour, have temporarily fled, Cortes survived a rapidly dwindling savings pool since March. and the next month forced to leave town for his hometown of Tabasco. There, he plans to regroup and possibly try to be part of the Mexico City theater circuit and restart the painfully complicated artist visa process once audiences can safely return to New York theaters.
“It’s sad. I feel like I wasn’t completely done with the city, but the forces are pushing me out,” Cortes said. “I think I can come back. I hope I can come back. in the future. “
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