By Ethan Shea
It goes without saying that just about every industry, from retail to restaurant, has been devastated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. With regard to the arts, some film studios were able to make use of in-home movie releases, while musicians occasionally put on socially-distanced concerts. Although those in the theatre industry have managed to put together stunning virtual performances, the traditionally in-person nature of theatre has made the pandemic especially tough on this branch of fine arts.
Villanova knows this well, as our theatre program was forced to go virtual for the 2020-2021 season. The success of Slaphappy: A Covid-Era Commedia proved the arts are incredibly resilient, but I have no doubt that everyone is looking forward to the upcoming in-person performances.
I think we all need to hear some good news every once in a while, which is why I want to call your attention to this week’s Broadway performances. After a long 18 months of silence, Broadway’s biggest musicals are finally back! On Sept. 14, The Lion King, Wicked, Hamilton, and Chicago all made their pandemic debuts.
It’s worth noting that these are not the first Broadway performances since the pandemic shut down all 41 Broadway theatres on March 12, 2020. The musicals Waitress and Hadestown have been putting on shows for over a week, and there were even showings of Springsteen on Broadway as well as Pass Over earlier this summer. Nonetheless, the return of Broadway’s box office juggernauts is a huge step forward for the theatre industry as it slowly recovers from the financial havoc COVID-19 wreaked.
It is mandatory that all who attend these Broadway performances are fully vaccinated and remain masked throughout the entire show. With these restrictions, the theatres will be operating at full capacity.
Falvey Library provides Villanovans with access to a wide array of resources related to theatre. With the help of our subject guide, I encourage you to check out some of the provided content, including films of contemporary stage performances.
Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.