Theater venues have been tapped by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to be among the “Flex Venues” as part of the NY PopsUp Inititative. The venues, including Broadway’s Music Box Theatre (home to the Tony-winning Dear Evan Hansen) will open its doors to audiences for the first time since March 12, 2020 with a series of special NY PopsUp programs beginning on April 2. Other theaters participating include the Apollo, Park Avenue Armory, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The SHED, Harlem Stage, La MaMa, National Black Theatre and the Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theatre.
The New York State Department of Health and NY PopsUp are collaborating with Broadway theater operators to create specific safety plans for each participating building, in advance of April’s first performances. This thorough process will serve as Broadway’s own pilot program that will increase audience size over time as the Department of Health allows, and will put select protocols into action as New York prepares for Broadway’s complete reopening.
The pop-up events are overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, and were established to help revitalize the spirit and emotional well-being of New York citizens through the energy of live performance set over 100 days throughout New York City and State.
“In just two weeks NY PopsUp has become the engine that drives the safe re-opening of the arts throughout our state,” producers Rudin and Rosenthal said in a statement. “It’s a wonderful bonus to the opportunity to present 300 shows in 100 days, and to the enormous satisfaction in bringing artists back to work here. It’s incredibly exciting to see what the arts community and the state can do, together, when we all row in the same direction.”
Per New York State’s Department of Health, attendee capacity of any performance must be limited to the lesser of 33% of the maximum occupancy for the particular area or 50 people; exclusive of performers, crew, and other staff who are necessary for the event. Effective April 2, 2021, the number of attendees may exceed the social gathering limit of 50 people, up to a maximum of 150 attendees, within a 33% maximum occupancy limit for the particular area so long as all attendees receive an appropriate negative diagnostic test result prior to the event.
Other Broadway theaters participating will be announced at a later date.