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Industry Pro Newsletter: Pauses and Postponements Continue, West End Reduces Weekly Performances

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Regional Responses to Virus Case Surges Are Starting to Diverge



January 10, 2022 -

As the industry works to both emerge from the pandemic and deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, responses are starting to differ based on region. Some Broadway producers are prioritizing their ongoing tours, others are pulling people from the tour to keep running on Broadway. In Chicago, no food and drink are allowed in the theatre. In Los Angeles, they're making plans to resist a pause for as long as possible. The first week of the new year was a bumpy one to be sure, and we've got the stories from around the industry in the newsletter below.

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THE SOCIAL REPORT

Paradise Square moves to the top of the leaderboard after announcing new dates for its Broadway Run. A Strange Loop saw significant growth following its closing performance in DC.

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INDUSTRY TRENDS

Meet AEA's New Mobilization Director

With internal organizing for better work conditions and an equitable workplace on the rise, Actors Equity Association announced Stefanie Frey as their new Mobilization Director beginning December 1. The role will formalize the internal organizing already ongoing, and work to better use the more than 50,000 members of the union to put pressure on producers during labor negotiations. The office will get to work quickly, as there are 3 major contracts up for negotiation in 2022: the touring contract, the production contract, and the League of Resident Theatres contract. Read more...

IMPACTS Projects Market Potential for Performing Arts Organizations

Based on survey data and with 2021 as a benchmark for understanding reported intentions versus actual performance, IMPACTS has projected that performing arts organizations can expect audiences to return to approximately 85% of 2019 levels in 2022. While this is an improvement over actual results in 2021 (industry average was 54.5%), this still doesn't get back to full recovery, making growing new audience members and converting the most dedicated theatre fans into customers even more vital. Read more...

BROADWAYIndustry Pro Newsletter: Pauses and Postponements Continue, West End Reduces Weekly Performances

Claybourne Elder Pays it Forward

In one of the feel good stories from last week, Company's Claybourne Elder gave away tickets for his own return from illness to Company. In a post about the giveaway, he shared his reason why, click through to read the story if you haven't had a chance to encounter it yet. Read more...

Tony Winner Beowulf Boritt Launches 1/52 Project

The project will offer $15,000 grants to early career designers from historically excluded groups to offer them some financial flexibility to continue pursuing their vocation. The grants are funded by designers who currently have shows running on Broadway, who are encouraged to donate 1 weeks worth of royalty payments per year. Read more...

Fred Ebb Foundation Donates $2.6 million to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids

The gift, the largest in BC/EFA history, was put to immediate use to deploy more grants for healthcare, rent support, and other emergency grants via The Actors Fund. Read more...

Broadway Producers and Unions In Ongoing Negotiations About Pauses

What happens when a show on Broadway pauses? That is still a question without a clear answer - in mid-December, the League of Broadway Producers proposed a 50% pay rate which was roundly rejected by the Unions that represent artists and employees on Broadway. The implications of these negotiations will last far beyond the pandemic, as not coming to work sick increasingly becomes a part of the new normal on Broadway. Read more...

BroadwayCon Postponed to July

Originally scheduled for late February, the annual event will now take place July 8-10, 2022. Event organizers are still working to re-confirm previously announced special guests. Read more...

REGIONALIndustry Pro Newsletter: Pauses and Postponements Continue, West End Reduces Weekly Performances

In Philadelphia, The Glass is Half Full

The Philadelphia Inquirer caught up with LaNeshe Miller-White, the executive director of Theatre Philadelphia. As the head of the regions main theatre advocacy organization, Miller-White is approaching 2022 with a glass half-full optimism that will be instantly recognizable in regions across the globe. Read more...

Broadway in Chicago Halts Food and Beverage Sales

Starting last week, all food and beverage sales and consumption were prohibited at Broadway in Chicago theaters. This is in an effort to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Read more...

Major Los Angeles Producers Press for the Show to Go On

Despite the surge in the greater Los Angeles area, Center Theatre Group (CTG), the LA Phil, and other large producers are finding ways to continue on as scheduled. The major organizations recently came together to announce a booster mandate for their audiences, but smaller theatre companies have yet to make the same requirement. As CTG Managing Director and CEO Meghan Pressman was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times, "It's a fluid situation..." Read More...

INTERNATIONALIndustry Pro Newsletter: Pauses and Postponements Continue, West End Reduces Weekly Performances

West End Shows Reduce Schedules

Mary Poppins and The Phantom of the Opera both announced last week that the productions would be going to reduced performance schedules in an effort to mitigate risk associated with the latest surge of the virus. Both shows are currently planning to continue the reduced schedule through the beginning of February. Read more...

Ontario Shuts Down All Theatres, Indoor Dining

In response to a holiday surge of virus cases, the province of Ontario last week announced sweeping new restrictions shutting down all theatres and indoor dining for at least 21 days. Further restrictions include capacity limits on stores and strict guidance on social gatherings. Read more...

Making Theatre More Accessible for the Visually Impaired: Touch Tours and Audio Descriptions

In The Guardian, a description of how Curve Theatre in Leicester is making their productions more accessible for visually impaired audience members. Live audio descriptions of the show are available, but they are additionally employing touch tours before the show for these audience members. This gives them the opportunity to see production elements up close to gain a stronger sense of both what they are able to see on the stage and what the guide is describing to them during the show. Read more...

Missed our last few newsletters?

January 3 - LA Institutions Require Boosters, Boston Invests in the Arts

Happy New Year! As we kick off another year, we find ourselves in what feels like a similar pattern: uncertainty. While the next few weeks seem destined to be rough within the industry as we continue to grapple with another surge in the virus related both to the new variant and holiday travel, we remain in a much stronger position than we were at last year. New treatments are available for those that do contract the virus, and the number of people receiving vaccines and boosters continues to rise. The New York Times laid out the case for hope in regards to the virus in their morning newsletter today. While that can be cold comfort to those in the midst of the fight within the theatre industry, it does serve as a reminder that though there is plenty of uncertainty ahead, we are in a foundationally more stable place than we were just one year ago as vaccines began to roll out. Read more...

December 27 - AEA's New Executive Director, More Restrictions Around the Globe

Amidst a week of more illness related closures on Broadway, an apologized-for comment from the President of the Broadway League led to a wide celebration of understudies and swings from the wider industry - below, we've got the video of Hugh Jackman doing that from curtain call of The Music Man. While the production shutdowns (and recent closing announcements) are an echo of March 2020, it is important to remember that across Broadway and across the country, there were many productions that were able to continue their holiday performance schedule without interruption, thanks to the health and safety protocols that theatres have in place. Read more...

December 20 - The Cancellations, The Policy Changes, and The Worry

The cancellations. The story in the industry of the last week or so has been reminiscent of March 2020, though as many observers and epidemiologists have reminded theatre fans - it isn't as bad as that. First, the cancelled performances are a sign that testing programs are working, and while they aren't completely eliminating exposure, they are mitigating the risk. While they may cause the loss of a handful of performances, they aren't causing a complete and total shutdown. Second, this is an early sign of a new era in theatre where performers, technicians, and staff members aren't forced to work sick. As theatre producers across the globe get a better understanding of just how many contingencies need to be in place for the show to go on, adjustments will continue to be made operationally. While our stories below discuss shutdowns in many markets, these are certainly not the only places currently impacted by new cancellations. Read more...

BroadwayWorld Resources

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Add Your Show to our Regional Events Calendar

As audiences get set to return to in-person performances, and as your company works to market your own return to the stage, make sure you've got your upcoming shows in our regional events calendars. Listings are free of charge, with boosting options available. Get your show listed now!

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From This Author Alex Freeman