BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In the world of the coronavirus, a lot can change in four months. That’s why nobody is quite sure what health protocols will be in place when Shea’s Performing Arts Center raises the curtain on September 10th, which is opening night for the 2021-22 season. But when that happens, the theater’s president if confident it will happen with 100% capacity.
“All signs are that it will be able to happen,” Michael Murphy said.
“We won’t be able to reopen unless we are at 100% capacity,” he added. “So we are planning on that for September. If for one reason that doesn’t happen, we will have to adjust.”
On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Broadway theaters in New York could sell tickets at 100% capacity this September. Murphy confirmed his expectation that that will apply for Shea’s.
“The point is to also see what the appetite is like for people to start going back,” Robert Mujica, Cuomo’s budget director, said.
Murphy says in Buffalo, the appetite is there. Ticket sales started in early April.
“Ticket sales are going very well,” he said. “Renewals are going well. We were at a really good place when we stopped last summer. Our new subscriptions are really going crazy. It’s exciting that people are really wanting to get back out.”
When asked if it was possible that all attendees would have to be vaccinated to see a show, Murphy said he didn’t know and that the theater would have to wait and see.
“We will communicate (health protocols) as we have them,” he said. “But we don’t expect to know, probably (until) late August.”
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.