|Part of a series on the|
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the performing arts, mirroring its impacts across all arts sectors. Due to physical distancing requirements and closure of the physical venues, curtailing not only public performances but also rehearsals, many performing arts institutions attempted to adapt by offering new (or newly expanded) digital services. In particular this resulted in the free online streaming of previously recorded performances of many companies – especially orchestral performances and plays – lists of which were collated by journalistsas well as bespoke crowdsourcing projects.
Live musical performances in indoor spaces were cancelled. Theatre performances were cancelled or delayed. All Broadway theatres in New York were closedas well as West End theatres in London. Waitress on West End and Frozen on Broadway announced they would close permanently. 9 to 5: The Musical on West End, Beetlejuice, The Inheritance, and Thriller – Live on Broadway and the Endgame and Rough for Theatre II double bill at The Old Vic were already scheduled to end, but were forced to close earlier than expected. Both Hangmen and revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway cancelled their entire run, though they had a few preview performances prior to the Broadway shut down. Sara Bareilles and Gavin Creel, who were performing at Waitress in London, returned to the United States a week before their scheduled departure due to international travel restrictions imposed. Mean Girls announced on January 7, 2021 that it would not be reopening post pandemic, though it still intends for its tour to resume and the film adaptation of the musical remains in the works. The Secret of My Success, mid-run in its world premiere and pre-Broadway tryout at the Paramount Theatre, was shut down March 13.
Premieres and openings postponed include the world premieres of 101 Dalmatiansand Identical , Broadway openings as revival of American Buffalo, Caroline, or Change, Diana, Flying Over Sunset, revival of How I Learned to Drive, The Lehman Trilogy, Mrs. Doubtfire, revival of Plaza Suite, Sing Street, Six, and revival of Take Me Out ; West End openings including Blithe Spirit, Cinderella, revival of The Seagull and revival of Sunday in the Park with George; Local Hero and 4000 Miles at the Old Vic. Hairspray at the London Coliseum, and What's New Pussycat? at the Leeds Playhouse.
The 2020 Laurence Olivier Awards ceremony was cancelled, with the awards issued in an alternate manner.The 74th Tony Awards was postponed. The 2020 announcement of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama was postponed to May 4 via live stream on the prize's official website.
Shakespeare's Globe called for urgent funding in order to avoid insolvency.
Cameron Mackintosh, a theatre producer, noted it would take four to five months for actors to return to the stage after social distancing ends.
Most dance companies have cancelled their remainders of the 2019–2020 season, and several companies have cancelled the entire spring season. For example, the American Ballet Theatre 80th Anniversary Season at the Metropolitan Opera House was cancelled, along with New York Premiere of Of Love and Rage and several dancers' debuts.In June 2020, the New York City Ballet announced the remaining performance in 2020 are canceled, including the annual George Balanchine's The Nutcracker performances in December, the first time since the ballet premiered in 1954. Some companies had to reschedule their future performances and premieres. For example, National Ballet of Canada had to revise their 2020/21 season, with the world premieres of MADDADDAM postponed to fall 2020, Karen Kain's Swan Lake postponed to 2021, and the North American premiere of Victoria postponed to 2022 to make way for Swan Lake.
The performance cancellations had also impacted several dancers' retirement, such as Eleonora Abbagnato of the Paris Opera Ballet, whose departure was already delayed due to a dancers' strike, and is now postponed to autumn 2020.The respective farewells of American Ballet Theatre's Stella Abrera and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Hope Boykin were not rescheduled.
Most orchestra performances have been cancelled or postponed. For example, the Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled their Asian tour, Orchestre de Paris had also cancelled their concerts.
Most opera productions have been cancelled or postponed, by companies such as the Canadian Opera Company, Metropolitan Opera and The Royal Opera. The world premiere of Ritratto, which was commissioned by the Dutch National Opera, was also postponed.
In response to the cancellation of many of its planned productions, Finnish National Opera commissioned, created, and produced Covid fan tutte , a comic opera about life during the pandemic using music from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte , starring a Finnish cast and premiering 28 August 2020 with small audiences and social distancing restrictions.
Many performing arts festivals are cancelled, including the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, cancelled for the first time in 60 years. The 2020 edition of Hong Kong Arts Festival and Oerol Festival are also cancelled, though the Holland Festival is attempting to convert to online event.
Individual actors, such as Patrick Stewart and Sam Neill, entertained from isolation in order to "...be in this together and that this has to take the form of being apart", as Neill described his contribution of comedic relief.Stewart, a trained Shakespearian actor, broadcast himself reading one sonnet each day via Instagram, readings described as "more than light entertainment, they’re moments of connection". The Sydney Theatre Company commissioned actors to film themselves at home discussing, then performing, a monologue from one of the characters they had previously played on stage.
The original West End cast of Mamma Mia! , reunited via a group video call, sang "Thank You for the Music" in tribute to NHS and a cast member with coronavirus.Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of the musical Hamilton (including original performers Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Ramos and Renée Elise Goldsberry) reunited on John Krasinski's Some Good News to surprise a nine-year-old girl named Aubrey who was a "superfan" of Hamilton but was unable to see the show due to the coronavirus. They also sang "Alexander Hamilton" for Aubrey.
Kathy Lette presented a Zoom performance of The One Day of the Year with five actors performing from their homes.
The Old Vic have announced a socially distanced performance of Lungs by Duncan Macmillan starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith to be performed live from the Old Vic stage and relayed on-line to a ticketed audience of the same size as Old Vic's usual capacity.
The Royal Opera House had its first performance on 13 June, which was broadcast via YouTube and BBC Radio 3. The performance included classical music and a new dance by Wayne McGregor.
Many ballet companies ran classes via Zoom to their dancers which were also broadcast.Ballet dancers, including principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, James B. Whiteside and Isabella Boylston, as well as the artistic director and a lead principal dancer of the English National Ballet Tamara Rojo, offered live classes on social media.
Musicians had performed at-home concerts during quarantine.
The Maltings Theatre, St Albans performed an interactive production of Twelfth Night with both cast and audience being Zoom participants.
The Original Theatre Company announced a performance of Birdsong using live performance and video tech as a fundraiser for The Royal British Legion directed by Alastair Whatley.
The Lockdown Theatre Festival is a BBC radio festival comprising a debate about the future of theatre and four radio plays that had either had curtailed runs or failed to start due to COVID-19: Lyric Hammersmith Theatre's Love Love Love by Mike Bartlett, Manchester Royal Exchange's Rockets And Blue Lights by Winsome Pinnock (this had no performances, and was to have been a world premiere), Orange Tree Theatre's The Mikvah Project by Josh Azouz, and Royal Court Theatre's Shoe Lady by E.V. Crowe.
Considering how to host to audiences at internal venues, the Kings Theatre, Southsea has that announced its 2020 pantomime will be performed for a reduced audience of 400 (compared to its usual 1400) capacity, who will have their seats allocated by the venue, be directed to specific entrances and arrival time, and will have to pre-book refreshments.
In June, Gran Teatre del Liceu reopened, though the performances were live-streamed and the audience was filled with plants.
In June, the musical Six announced that their West End and UK touring casts will perform drive-in performances in 12 open spaces across the UK, making them the first West End musical to resume performances.However, in July, the tour was cancelled due to local lockdowns in the UK.
In August, Hungarian-American composer and playwright Bálint Varga and lyricist Lia Barcellona Tamborra released their album musical/audiobook, d'ILLUSION: The Houdini Musical, inspired by the life of illusionist/stunt performer Harry Houdini (played by Julian R. Decker). All of the participating actors, voice talents and musicians recorded their parts remotely from all over the world while quarantined inside their homes.
In August, the musical Diana announced that the Broadway production will be recorded with no audience to be released on Netflix on October 1, 2021, ahead of its newly scheduled opening on December 1, 2021.
The 2020 Royal Variety Performance was held in Blackpool at the Opera House within the Winter Gardens, on the evening of 29 November. As a consequence of the pandemic, the show that has been attended by royalty since 1912 was performed to an empty auditorium. The audience was were invited to make a donation to the Royal Variety Charity instead of buying tickets. Screens placed on the auditorium seats allowed performers to see the faces of their virtual audience.The recorded show was broadcast in iTV on 8 December.
In late 2020, users of the social media app TikTok crowdsourced the creation of a musical based on the 2007 Disney/Pixar film Ratatouille . Beginning when one TikTok user created a short comedic song in tribute to Remy, the main character of the film, users then remixed and added to each other's videos to envision a full musical, including scenic design, choreography, and more songs. A virtual concert presentation of it, produced by Seaview Productions, streamed for 72 hours on TodayTix beginning January 1, 2021 to benefit The Actors Fund. It was directed by Six co-creator and co-director Lucy Moss from a script adaptation by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, both of whom co-executive produced the concert with Jeremy O. Harris. The cast included Kevin Chamberlin as Gusteau, Andrew Barth Feldman as Linguini, Titus Burgess as Remy, Adam Lambert as Emile, Wayne Brady as Django, Priscilla Lopez as Mabel, Ashley Park as Colette, André De Shields as Anton Ego, Owen Tabaka as Young Anton Ego and Mary Testa as Skinner. The concert raised $1 million for The Actors Fund.
In February 2021, the planned narrative film adaptation of the musical Come from Away was cancelled in favor of recording the Broadway production with its cast reprising their roles. It was filmed that May with no audience and was released on September 10, 2021, a day before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
To allow performers to begin performing publicly again during the pandemic, a variety of organizations have begun to develop and market specialized personal protective equipment. A variety of specialized masks for singers have been created; traditional cloth masks can be sucked into the mouth while performing and muffle performers' voices, so singers' masks contain an interior superstructure that provides a resonant space while keeping cloth further away from the face.Proceeds from the sale of some masks are designated for charity. Other masks for woodwind and brass players, including components to cover the bells of instruments as needed, have also been produced, and are being sold through standard equipment retailers. Sound and virus shields, including portable examples meant to be attached to a music stand in various configurations, also exist.
Some musicians have designed themed face masks to raise money for charity.Conductor Iván Fischer designed a mask with plastic cups attached at the ears to enhance the acoustics of a live performance as experienced by the wearer.
Numerous music schools have devised protocols regarding the use of personal protective equipment as part of their return to on-campus studies and live performance.
Due to the closure of productions and the simultaneous shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) several theatre costume departments – including that of the Berlin State Opera – converted to creating face masks.The English National Opera produced face masks and scrubs for distribution to workers at the National Health Service.
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.This push-up can also be seen as allowing the film to be watched in observance of a more relevant holiday from Halloween to Independence Day, as Act I of the musical is set during the American Revolutionary War—which Independence Day commemorates—and the play has Founding Fathers as characters.
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 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 for donations of at least £4.
Due to the closures, reductions in revenues for cultural organisations reliant on ticket sales were expected to cause devastating effects on organisational staffing, and on independent artists and professionals, partly due to the fact that the arts and culture is an economic sector characterised by a particularly high proportion of self-employment.For example, by March 20, Cirque du Soleil had laid off 95% of its workforce and closed traveling circus performances operating in seven countries. Performing arts festivals such as the Hong Kong Arts Festival were cancelled.
Opera Australia – Australia's largest performing arts company – temporarily stood down nearly all its staffamid speculation it would also need to sell major assets in order to avoid bankruptcy. By March 23, 255,000 cultural events had been cancelled, with an estimated revenue loss of $A280 million, self-reported through the crowdsourced website ILostMyGig.net.au.
In the United States, as the pandemic spread and closures became the standard rather than the exception, institutions started publishing expected revenue shortfall calculations. US$60 million in revenue.For example, by the end of March, the Metropolitan Opera expected to lose
In parallel to museum sector layoffs, staff began to unionise, even though social distancing orders prevented the in-person meetings required to sign the cards required to file for union elections.Meanwhile, on 18 March and in response to the rapid rise of online performances during the closures of performance spaces, the Actors' Equity Association announced a new "streaming media agreement" available to productions in areas with physical distancing regulations in force, for "select producers to capture and make a performance available online for one-time viewing to ticket buyers". A planned performance of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore via videoconferencing software was cancelled at the last minute due to a dispute between the theatre producers and the union. The AEA argued that during a time when almost everyone in the arts is going without a regular pay cheque and is worried about their health care, "it's deeply sad to see that some employers will still ask Equity actors to work without the protections of a contract." The theatre producers argued that "cyberspace" is not within the AEA's jurisdiction nor "...should free online-only experience, in which actors participate from the safety and comfort of their own home on teleconference, without rehearsal or admission price," be subject to the Off-Broadway agreement.
On 11 January 2021, it was announced that Indonesian–Japanese idol group JKT48 will forcibly mass-remove 26 of its 59 remaining members due to crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed large-scale social restrictions.They will officially leave the group mid-March 2021.
With the extensive financial disruption across all areas of the economy, many governments announced fiscal stimulus and economic bailout packages which included specific resources for the arts and cultural sectors. Equally, various charities and industry bodies raised funds to support their sector.
Arts and culture sector financial stimulus packages from individual countries included:
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2020)
Australia: In March, a petition of over 50 arts and culture organisations (including peak bodies from the music, dance, visual arts, museums, writers' and indigenous arts groups) requested a financial aid package "...to a value of 2% of the $111.7 billion [cultural and creative] industry". Furthermore, it requesting the Prime Minister "...issue a public statement recognising the value of our industry to all Australians" and noting that the industry had not yet recovered from the impact of the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season. Separately, Live Performance Australia, "the advocacy body for the live performing industry" had requested $850 million for its sector.[ citation needed ]
Instead of the $2.2billion requested in the petition, In early April the federal government announced a package of $27million in specific Arts funding – $7 million for the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program, $10 million for Regional Arts Australia's regional arts fund, and $10 million for Support Act,"the charity that provides financial support and counselling to people in the music industry".It also expanded unemployment assistance in response to the pandemic – dubbed JobKeeper – however it specifically excluded "freelancers and casuals on short-term contracts, or who have worked for a series of employers in the last year". Given arts sector's high reliance on short-term contracts, a large proportion of arts and cultural sector professionals were ineligible for the scheme.
United Kingdom: Arts Council England announced £160 million would be made available for arts organisations, including £50 million for organisations it does not usually fund and £20 million for individual and freelance artists.
United States: In late March the United States federal government announced a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. It included: "$75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, which can pass on the money to institutions that need it. Another $50 million was designated to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which distributes funds to museums and libraries. Some Republicans criticized US$25 million in relief funding that was allocated for the Kennedy Center as wasteful spending.
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. It is based on the 1910 eponymous French novel by Gaston Leroux.
Broadway theatre, also simply known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances which are presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and the Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Broadway and London's West End together represent the highest commercial level of live theater in the English-speaking world.
Anne Of Green Gables: The Musical is a musical based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The book was written by Don Harron exclusively, the music by Norman Campbell and the lyrics in a joint venture by Don Harron, Norman Campbell, Elaine Campbell and Mavor Moore. The musical is Canada's longest-running musical, having been performed annually from its opening in 1965 until 2019, with the 2020 production cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2014, it was officially recognized as the longest running annual musical theatre production in the world by Guinness World Records.
West End theatre is mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres in and near the West End of London. Along with New York City's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London.
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is a performing and media arts college of the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Laura Ann Osnes is an American actress and singer known for her work on the Broadway stage. She has played starring roles in Grease as Sandy, South Pacific as Nellie Forbush, Anything Goes as Hope Harcourt, and Bonnie and Clyde as Bonnie Parker, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She also starred in the title role of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway, for which she received a Drama Desk Award and her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
Sierra Marjory Boggess is an American theater actress and singer. She is best known for originating the role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid on Broadway and for her multiple appearances as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. She is known to many Phantom fans for playing the role of Christine during The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Performance at the Royal Albert Hall, which was shown live in movie theaters around the world in October 2011, appearing opposite Ramin Karimloo and Hadley Fraser as the Phantom of the Opera and Raoul de Chagny, respectively. Boggess has been involved in several productions of Phantom, beginning with the Las Vegas production in 2006. In 2010, she originated the role of Christine Daaé in the original London version of Phantom's sequel Love Never Dies, opposite Karimloo and Joseph Millson as the Phantom and Raoul, respectively.
Thomas Robert Kitt is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator, and musician. For his score for the musical Next to Normal, he shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Brian Yorkey. He has also won two Tony Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Next to Normal, as well as Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations for If/Then and SpongeBob SquarePants. He has been nominated for eight Drama Desk Awards, winning one, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for Jagged Little Pill in 2021.
American Idiot is a sung-through rock musical based on the 2004 concept album of the same name by punk rock band Green Day. After a run at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009, the show moved to the St. James Theatre on Broadway. Previews began on March 24, 2010, and the musical officially opened on April 20, 2010. The show closed on April 24, 2011, after 422 performances. While Green Day did not appear in the production, vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong performed the role of "St. Jimmy" occasionally throughout the run.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas, preliminarily referred to as the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, is a $354-million multi-venue center in the Dallas Arts District for performances of opera, musical theater, classic and experimental theater, ballet and other forms of dance. It opened with a dedication by city leaders on October 12, 2009.
Carmen Cusack is an American musical theater actress and singer. She is known for playing Elphaba in the Chicago, North American Tour, and Melbourne productions of the musical Wicked and for originating the role of Alice Murphy in the Broadway musical Bright Star.
Jessica Ruth Mueller is an American actress and singer. She started her acting career in Chicago and won two Joseph Jefferson Awards in 2008 and 2011 for her roles as Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel and Amalia Balash in She Loves Me. In 2011, she moved to New York City to star in a Broadway revival of musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her performance as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. She went on to receive two additional Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award nominations for her leading roles in Waitress (2016) and the Broadway revival of Carousel (2018).
Frozen is a musical with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and book by Jennifer Lee, based on the 2013 film of the same name. The story centers on the relationship between two sisters who are princesses, Elsa and Anna. Elsa has magical powers to freeze objects and people, which she does not know how to control. After inheriting the throne, Elsa flees, inadvertently causes the kingdom to become frozen in an eternal winter, and nearly kills her sister. She must sacrifice and show true love to save the day.
Waitress is a musical with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson. The musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly. It tells the story of Jenna Hunterson, a baker and waitress in an abusive relationship with her husband, Earl. After Jenna unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she begins an affair with her doctor, Dr. Jim Pomatter. Looking for ways out of her troubles, she sees a pie baking contest and its grand prize as her chance.
Come from Away is a Canadian musical with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. It is set in the week following the September 11 attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon. The characters in the musical are based on real Gander residents as well as some of the 7,000 stranded travelers they housed and fed.
Pretty Woman: The Musical is a musical with music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, and a book by Garry Marshall and J. F. Lawton. The musical is based on the 1990 film of the same name written by Lawton and directed by Marshall. It centers around a free spirited Hollywood prostitute Vivian Ward, who is hired by Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman, to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of her week-long stay with him.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 2018 play based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Harper Lee, adapted for the stage by Aaron Sorkin. It opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018. The play is set to transfer to London's West End at the Gielgud Theatre in March 2022. The show follows the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in 1930s Alabama, as he defends Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of rape. Varying from the book, the play has Atticus as the protagonist, not his daughter Scout, allowing his character to change throughout the show. During development the show was involved in two legal disputes, the first with the Lee estate over the faithfulness of the play to the original book, and the second was due to exclusivity to the rights with productions using the script by Christopher Sergel. During opening week, the production garnered more than $1.5 million in box office sales and reviews by publications such as the New York Times, LA Times and AMNY were positive but not without criticism.
Six is a British musical with book, music, and lyrics by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. The musical is a modern retelling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII presented as a pop concert, as the wives take turns singing and telling their story to see who suffered the most due to Henry and should, therefore, become the group's lead singer.
Once Upon a One More Time is a jukebox musical directed by Kristin Hangii with a book by Jon Hartmere. It is based on the stories of fairy-tale princesses and features songs by Britney Spears.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a sudden and substantial impact on the arts and cultural heritage sector. The global health crisis and the uncertainty resulting from it profoundly affected organisations' operations as well as individuals—both employed and independent—across the sector. Arts and culture sector organisations attempted to uphold their mission to provide access to cultural heritage to the community; maintain the safety of their employees, collections, and the public; while reacting to the unexpected change in their business model with an unknown end.