Will audiences at shows, concerts and other indoor events soon be able to attend specific performances where masks are required as a COVID-19 safety protocol?
Some in the entertainment world have questioned the producers of the Broadway play “The Kite Runner,” based on the novel of the same name, in light of its announcement that masks will be required for all performances from August to Friday nights. is throwing 19. For the rest of the week, participants can go without masks.
In effect, the show, which was initially a mask option for all performances when it opened last month, has now opted for a hybrid approach.
“I said, ‘Let’s try it,'” said producer Victoria Lang, adding that the initial reaction from ticket buyers was positive.
The industry trade body, the Broadway League, had required masks at all shows through June, but changed its policy starting in July to allow productions a mask option. Since then, most shows have dropped the mask requirement.
Similarly, most other entertainment venues across the country no longer require masking.
The idea of a hybrid approach came to her when Lang heard from theatergoers who wanted to attend the show but were hesitant for fear of catching COVID-19 in a room full of people without masks. So she decided to give those people a performance once a week that they could feel comfortable with.
Lang believes other Broadway productions may follow in her lead. Broadway League officials declined to comment on the situation.
Mike Raphael, a veteran Broadway ticketing consultant, said the industry is watching the results of Lang’s experiment closely.
Rafael added that if the idea is successful, it could spread to other arts and entertainment venues and productions. He said a one-size-fits-all approach to masking may no longer be the ideal approach.
“We need to develop a broader toolbox that isn’t so dull,” he said.
Although the number of COVID-19 cases has been declining since the peak of the pandemic, there are concerns that the highly contagious Omicron BA.5 variant, which most likely infected President Joe Biden recently, could increase. increase.
Still, some Broadway pundits point out that many productions thrive at the box office with their mask option policy. He has drawn the long-running hit show ‘Hamilton’ and the Tony Award-winning newcomer ‘MJ’. Both “Hamilton” and “MJ” performed to sold-out audiences last week, according to sales figures reported by the Broadway League.