Broadway’s shutdown has formally been extended until Labor Day, though it will likely last even longer than that. Today, the Broadway League officially announced that theaters will remain closed until September 6, after previously saying that they would shutter until June 7. The immediate result of the news is that box offices and ticket sellers will refund tickets to shows before that date, though given the statistics around the spread of coronavirus in New York — and the fact that Cuomo’s plan for reopening places arts and entertainment in the last phase — it seems likely that Broadway won’t open until after Labor Day. “As we’ve been put in phase four of the governor’s plan, we felt that Sept. 6 was a reasonable distance of time for refunds and exchanges, while we fully understand that we may not be back at that time,” Charlotte St. Martin, Broadway League president, told the New York Times. “Broadway will be back when the governor tells us it’s safe to be back — we’re working closely with his office and with experts to know when that will be.”
Cuomo first closed Broadway theaters on March 12. In the months since, New York theater in general has experienced massive economic losses for people working in the theater industry on and Off Broadway. Whenever performances do begin to resume, the question will remain about how audiences and performances can be kept safe and healthy, and how much an industry built largely on high ticket prices, tourists, and older audiences will have to change. Until then, we can all watch Hamilton on Disney+.