By Jim R. Delfino

Theatre is about human connection … that once in a lifetime moment of exchange between actor and audience.  Simply, that’s what makes the COVID-19 pandemic so very difficult, particularly for the industry, because it has deprived this exchange that inspires performances. What will the post-pandemic stage look like?

No one knows when the theaters will reopen, when actors will be able to rehearse in safety or when audiences will feel confident that attending a show won’t kill them. It could be months away. It could be more than a year. One thing that’s certain is that theater & live performances will return.

Live Music & Theatre

Live musical performances in indoor spaces have all been cancelled. Club, wedding, birthday, and numerous corporate events that have been cancelled or postponed till 2021 affect millions of musicians


Most dance companies have cancelled their remainders of the 2019–2020 season, and several companies have cancelled the entire spring season. For example, The New York City Ballet announced the remaining performances in 2020 are canceled, including the annual George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker performances in December, the first time since the ballet premiered in 1954

Previously Recorded Performances

The filmed version of the stage musical Hamilton, though originally scheduled for an October 15, 2021 theatrical release, but was later moved up to July 3, 2020 exclusively on Disney+, as announced by the show’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on May 12, 2020. Some professional performing arts companies have released previously recorded productions. For example, Andrew Lloyd Webber released recordings of his musicals on YouTube, the Royal Opera House had also released performances of the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera; and Cirque du Soleil released one-hour specials on YouTube each week. Actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge made the video of her play Fleabag available online.


Budgets and Employment

Due to the closures, reductions in revenues for cultural organizations reliant on ticket sales were expected to cause devastating effects on organizational staffing, and on independent artists and professionals, partly due to the fact that the arts and culture is an economic sector characterized by a particularly high proportion of self-employment. For example, in March, Cirque du Soleil had laid off 95% of its workforce and closed traveling circus performances operating in seven countries.

Financial Aid

With the extensive financial disruption across all areas of the economy, many governments announced fiscal stimulus and economic bailout packages that included specific resources for the arts and cultural sectors. Equally, various charities and industry bodies raised funds to support their sector. We wanted to get some local perspective on this topic, so we reached out to several of the local theatre groups to get their take on the current climate and status of the performing arts culture. Here is what they had to say.

Read more HERE