THEATRE IN LOCKDOWN, NYC
Hello from NYC, where we are self-isolating because of the virus. This is beyond the instructions of our politicians and scientists that all major Broadway theatres, conferences, events of more than 500 people be closed. My friends and colleagues in off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway/ independent theatre have closed down as of last week. Museums and other cultural centers have followed suit, as well as universities and public schools. Theatrical support organizations, such as the Actors Fund, Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, Dramatists Guild, and more have switched over to online counseling and workshops. And many organizations have established emergency funds for small theatres and freelance artists. Yesterday, the restaurant under our offices closed and many are expected to be ordered to do the same. Unfortunately, young people are still crowding into bars and some restaurants, so these will be closed next. Tourist areas are fairly empty. As always with New Yorkers, we are reaching out to help one another. This is hitting the artist hard since many of us are freelance, but actually all in the sector are affected. However, it is better than the alternative of more people being infected and dying. The only ray of light is that we are being forced to learn how to create, teach, and communicate remotely. It is never as good as face-to-face or community experience, but it's something. I expect we will all learn a lot from this.
Thanks for your testimony. In France, theaters and cultural venues (small and bigs) have been closing for several days. We will be on a complete lockdow in the whole country by tomorrow.
We are a very protective space so the situation for "intermittents", freelancers, small theaters... should hopefully be absorbed. But for sure extremelly hard for many.
I agree : we will learn from this. It is a necessity beyond our own situation.
Nice to hear from you, Nicolas! Best wishes and positive thoughts from NYC. From all this, we will create and perhaps find a better way.
all best wishes and simpathy from Italy. Thank you so much for your message: could you please keep us updated about the situation and what measures are taken, both from the sector and from institutions? We are trying to collect all this info under the post "Theatre at the time of coronavirus" in the Forum.
Stay strong and we are all in this together...
I will certainly keep posting the news and new ideas as they are happening. Right now, we are so strongly affected and trying to find a way to function during this disaster. I do know that many individual artists and some writers are organizing themselves to offer short plays and musical performances online just to give people some relief and hope. Linda Lavin and Billy Stritch did a half-hour informal cabaret show on FB Live from an apartment. Betty White did a FB Live reading of a children's book to entertain the children who are stuck at home, as did Josh Gad. We are all searching for ways to create and communicate. I asked a playwright friend if she might like to collaborate on a new piece by phone and video chat. Even if it comes to nothing, we will be exercising our talents and it might make us more hopeful. Who knows where it will lead. We need to stay safe, but we also crave cultural sustenance. Plus, we want to feel engaged and productive. The possibilities are endless. Does anyone out there have more ideas?