Photo Celia Mendoza


“New York’s independent theaters look for rent forgiveness” by Broadway News’ Caitlin Huston – “Close to 400 attendees tuned in to a virtual town hall Thursday in which elected officials urged members to make their voices heard on state rent forgiveness bills, extended eviction suspensions and business interruption insurance coverage. Unless these measures are passed, many members of the theaters of 99 seats or less did not see a way forward due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. …

In the interim, theaters are looking for the passage of two bills in the state legislature — Senate Bill S8125A, which would allow for complete rent forgiveness for 90 days, and Senate Bill S8190A, which would offer rent forgiveness through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and future coverage. Both bills remain in committee. … [New York State Senator BradHoylman stressed the need for independent theaters to speak in “collective voice” about their plight to urge needed funding from the federal government. Van Bramer, chair of cultural affairs for New York City, said he would also speak up for independent theaters in upcoming budget negotiations. …

Some members of the independent theater community, who typically have standard commercial leases, have not been paying rent, in the hope of legislative action or an arrangement with their landlords. Others have been paying, but may not be able to do so for much longer.”

— “What’s Ahead for Off-Off Broadway: The Most Vulnerable but Vital Spaces for Theater?” by Observer’s David Cote – “The League of Independent Theater lists approximately 138 New York City operating venues, plus more than 40 non-traditional spaces (such as galleries or bars). The Indie Theater Fund has 546 member companies. These outfits, with shoestring budgets and loyal, niche audiences, are the most vulnerable in the current crisis.”



DAILY BEAST: “Theater Imagines its Post-COVID Future, Including a Socially Distanced ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ on Broadway” by The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman – ““I have gone through Mrs. Doubtfire beginning to end, and I have re-choreographed it with social distancing in mind,” [LorinLatarro told The Daily Beast of her creative breakthrough, sparked in lockdown. “I have taken out any ‘clumps’ of performers.””

BOOTLEGS: “Copyright Office Urges Congress To Curb Broadway Bootlegs” by Forbes’ Marc Hershberg – “Last week, the U.S. Copyright Office released a report urging federal legislators to change the law in an effort to slow the spread of pirated content like unlicensed recordings of Broadway shows on the Internet. … Hundreds of thousands of unlicensed files are floating around the Internet, and one poll found that over 97.9 percent of theatre enthusiasts under the age of 20 have seen a Broadway bootleg. Many rights-holders believe that the procedures that Section 512 [of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act] put in place are not effective in combating copyright infringement on the Internet.”

EVENT: “New York Times Celebrates Broadway Season Cut Short by COVID-19 With ‘Offstage: Opening Night’” by Variety’s Brent Lang – ” … on June 11 at 7 p.m. ET. The event is meant to salute both shows … that were in the middle of successful runs when theaters closed, as well as ones … that [were] still in previews when Broadway’s lights went dark. … Performers will gather virtually to share and discuss songs, scenes, and stories that defined a year that was, at the very least, unprecedented and memorable.”

BROADWAY BOUND?: “Ryan Murphy Plans to Run Normal Heart and Destiny of Me in Rep on Broadway” by TheaterMania’s David Gordon – “Murphy … announced the news in an Instagram tribute to [LarryKramer … The pair were planning the collaboration, with Murphy recently having purchased the rights to both plays.”

“‘Queens’ Immigrant Drama Based On Play In Works At HBO From Martyna Majok & Prentice Penny”
 by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva and Denise Petski – “HBO has put in development drama series Queens, based on the play by … Martyna Majok … Majok will pen the adaptation and executive produce.”

“HBO Max Greenlights HOMESCHOOL MUSICAL: CLASS OF 2020 Inspired by Laura Benanti’s #SunshineSongs” by BroadwayWorld – ” … executive produced by Laura Benanti along with Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey, and Tom Campbell for World of Wonder Productions … Leland …will write and produce the original songs and score.”

“Cambodian Rock Band, Sanctuary City, More Set for Berkeley Repertory’s 2021 Season” 
by Playbill’s Dan Meyer – “The Berkeley Rep season will kick off in January or February of 2021, depending on health guidelines at the time.”

“Writers Theatre Devises a Flexible Plan for 2020-21 Season” by WTTW’s Hedy Weiss – “Exact performance dates will be announced for each offering throughout the year … The theater also will introduce a new membership program that has been “designed for those who want the freedom and flexibility of engaging with the theater on their own time and terms.””

“Hadestown Tour Postpones Hartford Performances” 
by BroadwayWorld – ” … where the tour was set to open following tech and performances in Schenectady.”

“Les Miserables North American Tour to Postpone all Current Tour Engagements” by BroadwayWorld – ” … all current engagements for the North American tour will be postponed until further notice due to the health crisis.”

“London Palladium to be ‘test bed’ for Covid-safe theatre” 
by The Stage’s Georgia Snow – “Lloyd Webber’s LW Theatres … is in the early stages of experimenting with technology, including infrared temperature scanners, to find “positive, proactive ways to get going again” after lockdown.”

— “Dreamcoat stage show will not launch until July 2021” by The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye –
— “Imelda Staunton-Led Hello, Dolly! Postponed to 2022” by BroadwayWorld –

IN THE EU: “Arts Officials Urge the European Commission to Rethink the ‘Deeply Disappointing’ Provisions for Culture in Its New €750 Billion Recovery Plan” by Artnet’s Naomi Rea – “The European Commission announced an ambitious seven-year budget yesterday to bail out the EU’s 27 member states from the economic impact of COVID-19, but culture representatives say it fails to provide enough protection for their industry, which is one of the economic sectors that has been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

UP NORTH: “Canada’s arts sector needs transformative action similar to Works Progress Administration” by Daniel Silver, Gail Lord, and Mark S. Fox for The Globe & Mail – “We need a 21st-century Canadian version of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. … the WPA … sparked one of the most dramatic expansions and diversifications of culture the world has ever seen, through subsidizing the production of visual art, music, theatre, literature, film … The point is not to give handouts to artists but to employ the creative energies of our society toward cultural renewal, expansion and diversification.”

— “Virtual Production of The Last Five Years Will Stream Starring Danny Becker and Lauren Samuels” 
by BroadwayWorld –
— “Altar Boyz Cast and Creatives Will Reunite For The Actors Fund” by BroadwayWorld –
— “The Five Lesbian Brothers Will Reunite for 1-Night-Only Live Reading of Brave Smiles…Another Lesbian Tragedy” by Playbill’s Ruthie Fierberg –
— “Stephen Bogardus, Faith Prince & More From the Original Cast of Falsettoland to Reunite on Stars in the House” by BroadwayWorld –


Tune in for The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards this Sunday, May 31, at 7:30 PM ET on Spectrum News NY1. The awards special also will stream on, and