New Jersey theaters to follow Broadway’s lead on deciding when to reopen

The owners of New Jersey’s performing arts centers will be following Broadway’s lead when it comes to deciding when to reopen.

News 12 Staff

May 14, 2020, 1:11 AM

Updated 1,441 days ago

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The owners of New Jersey’s performing arts centers will be following Broadway’s lead when it comes to deciding when to reopen.
The Broadway League says that all shows have been canceled until at least September, stating that it could be longer if New York City officials deem it necessary.
“We are going to be closely tied to the reopening of Broadway. We are just several miles away, we have similar sized houses,” says Mike Hoebee, producing artistic director at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn.
Hoebee says that he must weigh safety in the unique workspace that is a theater.
“The actors on stage, musicians in the pit – how do you social distance during a quick change or during a love scene?” he asks.
For the more-than 30 professional theater organizations in New Jersey that produce their own performances, there is the question of how to social distance the audience and how many seats can be sold.
“Right now, if we were to respect the social distancing guidelines between patrons, our capacity goes down to about 310 people. So, you can imagine, that business model just doesn’t work,” says Hoebee.
Photos: COVID-19 Impacts the World
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