In response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s attempts to limit the spread of coronavirus, Broadway shuttered its theaters on March 12 for 32 days, a duration that looks to stretch on indefinitely in response to new social distancing restrictions. Like other industries, however, Broadway will not simply be able to throw open its doors and restart its season where it left off. To whit, Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen, which was set to open at New York’s Golden Theatre March 19, won’t be opening on Broadway at all following the coronavirus outbreak, despite performing 13 preview shows.
“Because of the current health crisis which has created circumstances beyond our control, it is with deep regret that we are not able to resume performances of Hangmen,” the play’s producers announced in a statement Friday. “With no definite end in sight of the government’s closure and Broadway’s suspension, we have no alternative but to release the actors from their contracts and close the production.”
“Given our show’s budget and capitalization, we do not have the economic resources to be able to continue to pay the theater owners, cast and crew through this still undefined closure period,” they continued. “Therefore, in the interests of all involved, we regretfully have no choice but to close the show. We are all extremely disappointed that we cannot give Martin McDonagh and our fabulous director, cast and team the celebrated opening they all deserve.”
Hangmen, written by the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri director and directed by Matthew Dunster, deals with an executioner-turned-barkeep named Harry Wade, and his reaction to the United Kingdom’s abolition of hangings in 1965. Hangmen won the Olivier Award for Best Play in 2016, following its West End premiere.