Monday, May 25, 2020

Will There Be a Fall, 2020, Performing Arts Season?

After the mass cancellation of live musical performances from mid-March through (at least) early August, everyone is wondering what's going to happen come September, when large performing arts organizations typically open their season. So far, the signs are not good.

From London, the Southbank Centre, home of Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room, says that it  might not be able to reopen at all without large subsidies. The Southbank Centre expects that the current best case is that it resumes presenting events - some 3,500 annually - in April, 2021.

In New York, the Broadway League announced that theaters there will be shut through at least September 6, 2020.

Last week's announcement from the War Memorial Performing Arts Center, affecting San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, postponed the seat replacement project that had been scheduled for Spring, 2021, to allow for more performing opportunities for SFB and SFO. That implies that there might not be the expected performances in fall, 2020.

There's an analysis at Parterre Box, by Dawn Fatale, that's worth reading; as always, read Drew McManus at Adaptistration for solid insight into the issues. The NY Times' arts writers interviewed presenting organizations.

At a minimum, it's going to be an extremely difficult season for big performing arts orgs.


Keith said...

I don't expect performing arts to be back in the largest cities until at least Fall 2021.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Sadly plausible, I'm afraid. I should take a poll on Twitter.