The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced a Broadway giant to issue temporary layoffs. The Shubert Organization, which owns 17 Broadway theaters and two Off-Broadway venues, has issued furloughs to a portion of its staff.
Some 30 percent of the company’s workforce has been furloughed, Variety reports. Affected employees are involved in administrative, sales and marketing areas and are said to be retaining their health insurance coverage for three months.
The furloughs come shortly after Broadway’s historic shutdown has been extended to early June. Theaters have been shuttered since March 12 upon a mandate from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Operations were originally suspended for one month, though the Broadway League recently extended the hiatus to June 7 as New York continues to combat the virus’ outbreak. The Shubert Organization previously let go a wave of ushers, box office staff and stage hands following Broadway’s shut down.
Like so many industries, Broadway has seen severe ramifications of the pandemic as millions are under orders to stay at home and avoid large public gatherings. Productions and theaters will log significant loss in revenue the longer the Great White Way remains in the dark. Certain touring shows, including Once On This Island and The Book of Mormon, have pulled the plug on their cross-country travels, which have been paused since last month. Additionally, anticipated new shows have seen their openings get delayed along with the 2020 Tony Awards.
Nevertheless, the Broadway community is rallying to help the relief efforts in hard-hit New York City. Personnel across the industry, including seamstresses, actors and more, have volunteered to help create necessary medical gowns for healthcare workers.