With Broadway making masks optional for the first time since the pandemic began, individual productions have been left with the choice of requiring or not requiring them at their discretion. The Kite Runner has opted to go a hybrid route, first setting a mask requirement for one performance each week, and recently expanding the requirement to a pair of showings.
The policy, which began on Friday, August 19, originally required face masks for Friday night performances only. Beginning September 7, Wednesday matinee performances will also see face masking required.
Victoria Lang, one of the lead producers of the show said that they had received feedback from both audience who remained cautious in a non-masked environment and those immunocompromised, and expressed their uneasiness about attending their show, or any show.
“We thought, why not dedicate at least one performance a week to make it a masked audience, so that anyone and everyone who wants to see the show has the opportunity to do that,” she said.
The Kite Runner which kicked off on July 21 is set to run a limited engagement through October 30 at the Helen Hayes Theater, and the one-day-a-week mask rule will be put into practice every Friday. The selection of this specific day is noteworthy as Fridays are considered to be one of the most favorable and popular nights on Broadway and in entertainment scene in general. The producers felt it was the most accessible for scheduling for patrons, that’s why they chose Friday night, according to Lang.
Masking rule for Friday shows of The Kite Runner marks the first hybrid policy on Broadway. The producers state they certainly have the opportunity to do it if there are further requests for more [mask required] performances.
In late July, The Broadway League announced that masks would continue to be optional for the 41 theaters in New York through August “and until further notice”. Before this announcement, it lifted mask mandate as of July 1.
All other performances except The Kite Runner’s Friday shows, masks are optional at theaters in New York. Guests are encouraged to wear a mask in the theater to protect themselves and others, but it is no longer required.
Based on Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel of the same name, The Kite Runner is adapted to theater by Matthew Spangler. It is directed by Giles Croft and stars Amir Arison, Faran Tahir, Mazin Akar, Barzin Akhavan, Demosthenes Chrysan, Azita Ghanizada, Danish Farooqui, Joe Joseph, Déa Julien, Dariush Kashani, Beejan Land, Amir Malaklou, Christine Mirzayan, Haris Pervaiz, Alex Purcell, Eric Sirakian, Houshang Touzie, and Evan Zes.
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Last Updated on September 7, 2022 by Dave Clark