Ramble on New York Theatre in the time of COVID

You may have heard that Broadway has just confirmed that The Great White Way will be closed at least until Labor Day and perhaps longer. While disappointing, it is entirely understandable at this point. Until we get this plague under control few people are clamoring to crowd shoulder to shoulder into a building with strangers. The biggest component of Broadway audiences are tourists, who will be scarce for a while, and older New Yorkers, who are at most risk. A few planned shows have already cancelled and others have rescheduled for 2021.

As New York theaters are shut down, many have turned to streamed events to replace them. In most cases, I have not been impressed. I like the communal experience of live story telling and any substitute is just a movie or TV show. I would make one exception for a show I saw recently. Produced by a talented actress who has performed in one of my plays, Maera Daniel Hagage, it is quite engaging in a very unexpected way.

The play concerns a gay romance over a Grindr sort of app between an Israeli and a Lebanese man. Much of the action is carried out through text messages between the two of them. I can imagine how it would work live on stage, which was scheduled for this spring. It is called “Borders” and is perfectly adapted to a streaming application due to the structure. It is performed live each time by the actors hunkered down in their respective New York apartments. The event is free and information can be found at the link below. It has a limited time remaining so give it a shot while you yourself are locked down. A little bit of live theater is welcome in this format and in this time.

Borders

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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