(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/3; via Pam Green; Photo: New York State is relaxing coronavirus restrictions and allowing venues to reopen next month to limited audiences. The musicians Jon Batiste and Endea Owens performed at a pop-up concert last month at the Javits Center.Credit…Nina Westervelt for The New York Times.)
The state will allow plays, concerts and other performances to start again April 2 for audiences of up to 100 people indoors, or 200 outdoors.
Plays, concerts and other performances can resume in New York starting next month — but with sharply reduced capacity limits — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday.
Mr. Cuomo, speaking at a news conference in Albany, said that arts, entertainment and events venues can reopen April 2 at 33 percent capacity, with a limit of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors, and a requirement that all attendees wear masks and be socially distanced. Those limits would be increased — to 150 people indoors or 500 people outdoors — if all attendees test negative before entering.
A handful of venues immediately said they would begin holding live performances, which, with a handful of exceptions, have not taken place in New York since Broadway shut down last March 12.
The producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal said they expected some of the earliest performances would take place with pop-up programs inside Broadway theaters, as well as with programming at nonprofit venues that have flexible spaces, including the Apollo Theater, the Park Avenue Armory, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Shed, Harlem Stage, La MaMa and the National Black Theater.
“That communion of audience and performer, which we’ve craved for a year, we can finally realize,” said Alex Poots, the artistic director and chief executive of the Shed, which plans to begin indoor performances for limited-capacity audiences in early April.
The new rules will not affect commercial productions of Broadway plays and musicals, which are still most likely to open after Labor Day, according to Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League.