The Dramatists Guild lauds the Broadway community for its decision to cancel performances in response to the Coronavirus.
We don't know everything about the pandemic, but we have more than enough information to know that public gatherings like theatrical performances pose a serious threat to public safety.
While the announced shutdown is only aimed at theatres in New York with over 500 seats, we feel that the health crisis effects smaller spaces, too, and those not necessarily within the borders of the greater metropolitan area. So we urge theatres of every size, in any locale where cases have been reported, to take Broadway’s lead and consider postponement of their current and upcoming productions, until such time as medical experts have determined performances to be safe again.
While we feel it is necessary to curtail gatherings of hundreds of people in enclosed spaces at this dangerous moment, we are mindful of the great financial hardship that such shutdowns will have for those who make their living in the theatre, including many Guild members. So, while we are calling for the industry to protect itself and its audiences, we also expect and demand a governmental response that provides sufficient public assistance in proportion to the damage being wrought.
President of the Dramatists Guild of America