Broadway theaters will remain closed through June 7, the Broadway League announced Wednesday.
The new date was set in accordance with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and under the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Broadway theaters were previously scheduled to reopen on April 13, after a 30-day suspension.
Though many Broadway producers had been planning on further closures — with a true reopening date several months away — the extension is likely to continue to hurt its small businesses and impact shows that were scheduled to open this spring. The closure date also calls into question what remains of the 2019-2020 season, which was originally slated to end on April 23.
Cuomo also questioned the new timeline Wednesday, telling other live entertainment venues that he would not “use what Broadway thinks as a barometer of anything.” On social media, “Chicago” has encouraged affected patrons to exchange their tickets for performances beginning Sept. 7.
The Tony Awards were originally scheduled to take place on June 7, the new date of the closures, but had already been postponed indefinitely.
Many non-profit organizations, including Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club and Roundabout Theatre Company, have already opted to move their productions to the fall. The commercial productions of “Hangmen” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” have announced that they will not reopen. On Wednesday, “Beetlejuice” also said it would not be able to return to the Winter Garden Theatre, but was continuing to evaluate other theater options.
Other shows, including the star-studded productions of “The Minutes” and “American Buffalo,” had limited engagements planned for the spring. On Wednesday, a spokesperson for both productions said there was not yet an update of plans for those two plays.
The new closure date comes after the Center for Disease Control had recommended limiting large gatherings for at least eight weeks. Cuomo recently extended his stay-at-home order for New Yorkers through April 29.
“Our top priority continues to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a press release.
Patrons had been frustrated by their inability to receive refunds for performances past April 12. Now any patron who had tickets for performances through June 7 will be contacted by their point of purchase with information on ticket exchanges and refunds. Productions are continuing to sell tickets after June 7.