Playhouse Square Announces Broadway Shows Won't Return Before Fall 2021

Playhouse Square theaters at night in 2016.
Playhouse Square theaters at night in 2016. [Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock]

Playhouse Square announced Monday it is not expecting the Broadway series to return until the fall of 2021 due to the pandemic.

While news about a vaccine brings hope for the theater touring industry, a return to production won’t happen right away, according to Playhouse Square President and CEO Gina Vernaci. 

"The entire country needs to be open and ready for business. We are meeting weekly with the presenters across the country to align protocols and procedures so that audiences and cast members and staff members are kept safe coming back into our facilities," Vernaci said. 

Playhouse Square has already canceled or postponed nearly 700 performances since March.

“This is actually the sixth time that we have redone all of our programming, and it all starts with Broadway and the Key Bank Broadway season because that takes up most of the time in the larger venues," Vernaci said. "It’s still a fluid situation, but once that is established then we can go in and start filling in with concert attractions.”

Playhouse Square continues its educational programming with streaming services. Resident companies, such as Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Ballet and Great Lakes Theater, also are adapting to serve audiences differently, particularly online.

Due to the pandemic, Playhouse Square has reduced staff and needs philanthropic support, Vernaci said in the news release.

Playhouse Square completed construction of its residential development, the Lumen, in October. It includes a parking garage, outdoor terrace and more than 300 apartments.

“We see ourselves as stewards of our neighborhood, and that means doing what we can to ensure the Playhouse Square District emerges from the pandemic as even more inviting and exciting than it was before,” Vernaci said.

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