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Broadway Goes Dark to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic

New York State has banned gatherings of more than 500 people.

45th Street on Broadway at dusk in 2018.
(© David Gordon)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the near-immediate shutdown of Broadway productions as part of his new Density Reduction Plan to combat the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Theaters will go dark beginning at 5pm tonight, Thursday, March 12, and will stay closed until the week of April 13 according to the Broadway League. Those holding tickets for performances through April 12 should contact their point of purchase for refunds and exchanges.

This is part of a ban that prohibits gatherings of more than 500 people, except for schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and mass transit. The seating capacity for gatherings under 500 people will be cut in half.

As of this morning, New York City has confirmed 62 cases of coronavirus, including a Broadway usher who recently worked at the Booth and Brooks Atkinson Theatres, which currently house productions of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Six. Neither of those shows had altered its playing schedule.

Off-Broadway theaters are currently releasing their own plans of action. Click here for a complete list of New York City theater postponements and cancellations.