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Arts/Culture

Theater Talk: No crystal ball predicts when theaters reopen, but slowing vax rates could delay

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Shea's
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When will theaters re-open? Broadway shows (including national tours at Shea's) require 100% use of capacity. Per Playbill, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Broadway shows would reopen at that capacity beginning Sept. 14. However, without a crystal ball, the governor did not specify in his remarks exactly which shows are planning to operate on this timeline. Nationally, only 30% of the entire U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Itching to see a show? Get vaccinated with BOTH doses and help convince your friends to do the same.

IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts), we understand, has told its members to be ready to go back to work in August, if not earlier. Does IATSE have a crystal ball?  97,000 people work on Broadway, in some capacity or other, and so they hope that IATSE does.As reported in Playbill, the last full theatre season Broadway welcomed 14.77 million theatregoers (more people than New York’s 10 major sports teams combined), contributing to nearly $15 billion to the New York economy and supporting employment for roughly 97,000 people. 
 

In a May 5, 2021 article by Ryan McPhee appearing in Playbill.com titled "Andrew Cuomo Says Broadway Shows Will Open at Full Capacity September 14" we read that:

"New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a May 5 press conference that Broadway shows, after being shut down for over a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, would reopen at 100 percent capacity beginning September 14. He added that tickets would go on sale beginning May 6.

"The governor did not specify in his remarks exactly which shows are planning to operate on this timeline—productions are expected to welcome back audiences on a rolling basis based on their individual needs, including hirings and rehirings and varying amounts of rehearsal.

"The Broadway League, the trade organization that represents producers, theatre owners, and other key decision makers in the reopening process, confirmed the fall target (albeit without the specific date) shortly after Cuomo's announcement, noting that the timeline still depends on the state government's final approval of each theatre operator's health and safety protocols.

"Earlier this week, Cuomo gave Broadway and other tri-state area theatres logistical clearance for this major step, saying that most remaining capacity restrictions would be lifted May 19. However, venues would still have to abide by CDC guidelines on social distancing, rendering it impossible for a theatre with fixed seating to welcome a pre-pandemic-sized audience. Moreover, the industry needs to tie up myriad loose ends before raising the curtain, ranging from new agreements with the various unions involved to reaching and persuading would-be ticket buyers to return.

"League President Charlotte St. Martin said that Cuomo's decision signifies that he 'clearly recognizes the impact of Broadway's return on the city and state's economy and the complexity of restarting an entire industry that has been dormant.'

"Broadway's economic contributions have been at the center of many industry arguments for funding and relief during the shutdown; in the last full theatre season, the League says, Broadway welcomed 14.77 million theatregoers (more people than New York’s 10 major sports teams combined), contributing to nearly $15 billion to the New York economy and supporting employment for roughly 97,000 people."

HOW ARE WE DOING WITH VACCINATIONS?

As reported in U.S. News and World Report: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, April 29, 2021 reported that [only] 30% of the entire U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. More than 43% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to CDC data. When limited to just adults aged 18 and older, nearly 55% of the group has received at least one dose."

But, since the vast majority of vaccinations in the U.S. are either the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, one-dose people are not "fully vaccinated."

WHAT DO WE KNOW?  WHAT DON'T WE KNOW?

According to the CDC's website on May 4, 2021 on "What We Know"

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19.
After you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

And, according to the CDC's website on May 4, 2021 on "What We Are Still Learning"

Scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus.
We’re also still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines protect people.

SOURCE: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html as of May 4, 2021

AS WE PLAN TO TRAVEL EITHER TO SHEA'S DOWNTOWN OR TO BROADWAY

The CDC has "Updated Information for Travelers" (updated April 27, 2021)

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.
People who are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization can travel safely within the United States:
Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it
Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to self-quarantine
Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including:
Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
Stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds
Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
SOURCE: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

HERE'S A SAMPLE OF STATES RANKED BY PERCENT OF POPULATION FULLY VACCINATED as of May 4, 2021:
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1. Connecticut
Number of people fully vaccinated: 1,437,969
Percentage of population fully vaccinated: 40.33

8. New Jersey
Number of people fully vaccinated: 3,316,641
Percentage of population fully vaccinated: 37.34

12. New York
Number of people fully vaccinated: 6,993,909
Percentage of population fully vaccinated: 35.95

22. Pennsylvania
Number of people fully vaccinated: 4,264,320
Percentage of population fully vaccinated: 33.31

51. Mississippi
Number of people fully vaccinated: 708,566
Percentage of population fully vaccinated: 23.81

SOURCE: https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/states-ranked-by-percentage-of-population-vaccinated-march-15.html  updated May 4,2021

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