With no end in sight for the global coronavirus pandemic and U.S. theater shutdown, the Broadway League announced an agreement with the industry’s unions requiring suspended productions to pay an additional two weeks to actors and other workers who lost their incomes.
The League, a trade association of producers and theater owners, announced the agreement late Friday with the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds. “We are a community that cares about each other, and we are pleased that we can offer some relief,” League President Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement.
On March 12, under orders from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the League closed Broadway and said it will be dark through at least April 12. By all indications, the lockdown will last longer. Earlier today, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts cancelled performances through May 17.
And producers of a highly anticipated new play, Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen, called it quits after 13 previews. Capitalized at $4.75 million, Hangmen was scheduled to open on March 19 at the Golden Theatre. The nonprofit Atlantic Theater presented the U.S. premiere in 2018 and likely had a stake in the Broadway production.
“With no definite end in sight of the government’s closure and Broadway’s suspension, we have no alternative but to release the actors from their contracts and close the production,” lead producers Robert Fox, Jean Doumanian, Elizabeth McCann and Craig Balsam said in a statement. “Given our show’s budget and capitalization, we do not have the economic resources to be able to continue to pay the theater owners, cast and crew through this still undefined closure period.”
Other shows slated to open in March and April before an increasingly-moot Tony Award eligibility deadline may likewise cut their losses rather than wait indefinitely for Broadway to reopen.