We asked NJ theaters if their stages will be live this spring and summer
It's been a year since most performing arts venues in the Garden State have seen a live standing ovation, or since any have seen just a typical crowd.
And for another spring/summer season, you may struggle to easily find a live indoor play or concert in your area, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the local theater scene.
"I think you might see a few things offered inside, with the state restrictions, but I think the larger amount of programming being offered will be outdoors," said John McEwen, executive director of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
McEwen suggests New Jersey may not see a significant return to indoor programming return until the fall, given ongoing crowd restrictions and the lingering threat of COVID-19 transmission.
"They're not only thinking about their audiences, they have to think about their staff, as well as the artists and the production crew," McEwen said.
A venue wants to ensure an offering makes economic sense as well — a growing number of venues have started offering tickets for both live and virtual viewing, so a show in front of a mostly empty theater can still bring in money.
Theaters in New Jersey remain tied to a 35% capacity limit for audience members. Attendance cannot exceed 150 individuals.
Theaters were given the green light to open their doors at reduced capacity in the beginning of September, after being shuttered in mid-March.
"The theaters have seen an uptick in contributions, especially from individuals that believe in the work that they are doing," McEwen said.
The Count Basie Center for the Arts, located in Red Bank, said in an emailed comment that it has a lineup of live indoor shows planned for the spring and summer. They will be held in compliance with all capacity, mask, and other regulations set forth by the state.
A mix of "on demand," virtual and live offerings make up the calendar at Mayo Performing Arts Center, in Morristown, through May. Events appear to go fully live in June.