Open Forum

Post-covid theatre

  • 1.  Post-covid theatre

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hello all,

    I hope the return to school isn't finding too many obstacles.

    I am writing an online theatre history course on the 20th century and have come to an end. It is a clean end as it is before covid and after.

    Broadway, London's West End and theatres around the world have been closed for eight months and won't open until at least the first of the year, as have regional, community, college and high school theatres. I am wondering what your thoughts might be on the question of post-covid theatre.

    1. Will it return to normal?
    2. Become a new normal? 
    3. Will the hiatus completely transform theatre?

    Put on your prognostication glasses and peer into the future for me.

    Best of a broken school year.


    James Van Leishout
    Olympia WA

  • 2.  RE: Post-covid theatre

    Posted 7 days ago
    My thought is never ever the same.

    Seating every other aisle, masks required,  group tickets cheaper cause you can sit together,  new viruses every few months,  amazing treatment so when you get a virus,  you go to a hospital and get a few intravenous sessions that will make the virus no worse than a cold.   Economy sluggishly back on track.    So ticket prices come down a bit,  but theaters only half sold which makes the investment on new theatre very few and far between so more juke box musicals, sequels, revivals and pieces by proven writers.   Maybe more outdoor pieces...   mic's and sound systems

    Leon Kaye
    Playwright for the Ages

  • 3.  RE: Post-covid theatre

    Posted 6 days ago
    I think that whatever the future holds, we are going to have to learn to be nicer to each other.  I think the spaces themselves might change a bit, better air-handling, for example, staggered seating, grouped seats, etc.  I can see a future where the marquee says "now, with upgraded air handling systems"  or "preferred seating, a standard".  I do think we took a lot of behaviors for granted-- all heading to the lobby at intermission; all entering or leaving the theater at the same time, through the same exits, etc.  Some of those behaviors should probably change just out of a sense of decorum for one and other.  I don't see a future where mask wearing goes on year after year, but I think certainly, this spring and into next fall, adaptations will need to be made.  We're learning a lot about video conferencing now and perhaps some more material will be performed that features technology in a way it has not been previously, at least in a broader sense more widely used and available-- so that it's use and integration, like projected scenery, becomes somewhat conventional and accepted.

    Michael Johnson
    Trinity NC

  • 4.  RE: Post-covid theatre

    Posted 5 days ago
    Interesting questions! My sister is a nurse on the front lines. She says this isn't going away, similar to the flu. Folks will continue to get this virus for years to come. Hopefully, with a Covid-Shot in the future, it should be more manageable with less deaths. When you think about how some folks continued to wear masks long after the SARS outbreak, I feel some will do the same here. On a positive note, I haven't even gotten the common cold since last January because of social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand sanitation, so maybe we are on to something! We have already had a HS play in an outdoor amphitheater, with as much social distance blocking as possible, and some masks being taken off and on during the production based on how close the players were to one another. Our audiences were half capacity even in an outdoor theatre. However, IT WORKED!! I think Theatres will continue to do whatever it takes to perform! Think about how many times in Theatre history that theatres were shut down for religious or health reasons, but the THEATRE ALWAYS RETURNED in FULL FORCE!! As soon as Broadway opens next summer, I know there will be lines out the door waiting to enter! (Even if we are still 6ft. apart and wearing masks!)

    Suzanne "Mama" Craig
    MS/HS Theatre/Speech
    Lipscomb Academy
    Nashville, TN