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Blackfriars Theatre

New York State announced new capacity guidelines for event venues last week. According to the state, "Congregate commercial and social events...such as those that host sports competitions, performing arts and live entertainment, and catered receptions can exceed the social gathering limits of 500 people outdoors or 250 people indoors if all attendees over the age of four present either proof of full vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test result and the required social distancing can be accommodated." The new policy begins May 19. 

What does this mean for local businesses? Our guests explain: 

Rochester Broadway Theatre League

This is, John Parkhurst says, “the longest intermission of our lives.”

As we churn toward what epidemiologists predict will be the darkest period yet of the coronavirus pandemic, venues such as Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre are shuttered in uncertainty.

“Right now, you plan for the worst and hope for the best,” says Parkhurst, chief operating officer of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League. “And if we can be open in March or April, it’s still a possibility.”

Jeff Spevak / WXXI News

Artistic and managing director Danny Hoskins calls the Blackfriars Theatre 2020-21 season “a journey.” If so, the men will be left standing on the wharf, watching the ship sail.

“We decided to do something that the Academy Awards didn’t do,” development manager Mary Tiballi Hoffman said Monday night at the Blackfriars announcement for the upcoming season at its East Main Street theater.

While the recent Oscars awards failed to recognize any female directors, Blackfriars has placed all six of the upcoming season’s productions in the hands of women.

While RBTL continues to lobby for a new, 3,000-seat downtown performing arts center, other theater companies are trying to reinvigorate the local theater scene. From established companies to new groups, we explore the scene. Our guests: