Multiple theater executives gathered together to form a “think tank,” helping others throughout the industry move forward amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The think tank, formed by producer and publicist Matt Ross, is composed of three dozen theatermakers across all disciplines, as well as a team of epidemiologists from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Ross told Broadway News that the group aims to give reopening guidelines to theaters on and off-Broadway, as well as national venues.
On Wednesday, the COVID-19 Theatre Think-Tank site launched, along with a video interview with Hudson Scenic Studios owner Neil Mazzella and lead production manager Carrie Winkler. The site contains guidance for intitial airflow and disinfection based on recent studies from a team at CUNY. The guide includes information like adjusting ventilation systems so air does not recirculate.
At this point, Ross said there are daily activity within the think tank group. There will be guest speaker sessions on various industry topics, as well as constant communication with other industry executives and health professionals.
While the group will discuss how theaters can return, Ross said that the “only topic that’s basically off limits for our think tank” is the question everyone is wondering: when will theaters officially reopen? He said that point, however, will be left to other entities – including state and federal guidelines.
Broadway is currently closed through Labor Day Weekend, though many producers don’t believe shows will really resume until 2021. Shows have remained closed since March, and many don’t have plans to head back to the Great White Way.