Broadway’s doors have been closed since March, and even when the Great White Way does open again, theatergoers won’t be ready to head back to shows, according to a new survey.
A new study, released by the national marketing research company Shugoll Research, found that theater fans will return to Broadway, just not immediately. A total of 300 people from the New York area completed the survey between April 17 and 24, 2020. Participants attended at least two professional theater productions in a typical year, one within New York City on or off Broadway.
Less than half of theatergoers said they are likely to return when theaters open, and more New Yorkers will take an initial wait and see attitude about returning. More than half of those surveyed said they will probably wait at least a few months before returning, while only one-fifth will attend a show that they want to see right away.
“This will provide challenges to Broadway shows whose revenues might be slow to reach breakeven levels and nonprofits counting on a needed influx of earned income,” study author Mark Shugoll said in a statement to DC Metro. “New Yorkers want their theater back, but they will be cautious in making that happen.”
Although economic concerns may play a part in returning to Broadway, health concerns are more important, the study shows. Around 6 in 10 are concerned that there may be a second wave of the virus and that a vaccine won’t be available when theaters reopen. The younger respondents were more likely to list economic factors, while older surveyors claimed health concerns as their biggest worries.
Broadway has definitely taken a hit amid the pandemic. Currently, shows are halted through June 7, however, a U.K. producer predicts that shows on the West End and Broadway may not reopen until next year. To keep the spirit of theater alive, Broadway stars have been participating in various live streams. A handful of cast members will appear in a digital benefit concert to help raise funds for Broadway Cares’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund this weekend.