Positive Coronavirus Test Halts Shakespeare in the Park for Third Night
Cheerfulness is still on pause.
The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park production of “Merry Wives,” which had already postponed its opening night by nearly two weeks after its lead actor was injured, announced Friday it would cancel its third consecutive performance after learning a member of production had tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.
The theater had canceled Wednesday and Thursday performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, in accordance with its existing protocols. He announced on Twitter on Friday that he would also cancel Friday’s performance “to support the artistic and logistical efforts needed to restart the performances.”
A spokesperson for the theater, Laura Rigby, said the theater plans to resume performances on Saturday. Production is slated to run through September 18, with a special gala on September 20.
The theater noted on Twitter that it performs “rigorous testing and daily health and safety protocols to keep everyone safe.” He said on Wednesday that the cast, crew and staff would self-isolate and take additional tests if necessary.
Earlier this week, the theater postponed the play’s opening night to August 9, July 27, after Jacob Ming-Trent, who plays Falstaff, suffered an undisclosed injury. (He’s recovering, the theater said, and his understudy Brandon E. Burton will be playing the part in his absence.)
The show, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, has premiered since July 6. Written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Saheem Ali, it takes place in South Harlem and represents rarely seen African immigrant communities. on the scene. Bioh and Ali have said they hope the production will make Shakespeare accessible to all audiences, especially people of color who may have been told Shakespeare is not for them.
“We want it to be anti-racist,” Ali told The New York Times this month. “We want it to provide people of color with opportunities that weren’t there before.”
In June, the theater announced that it would fill the Delacorte Theater to 80% of its capacity after initially announcing that it would only allow 428 participants in the 1,800-seat theater for each performance.
People who show proof of vaccination can occupy sections at full capacity, and remote sections are available for those who are not vaccinated (and those spectators do not need to show proof of a negative test to enter) . Face masks are required for people in both sections when entering and traveling, although those in full capacity sections may remove them when seated.
On Friday, Rigby said the theater was monitoring cases of Covid-19 in New York City and would adjust its policies if necessary in collaboration with its city, state and union partners.
The cancellations come amid rising cases caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has been responsible for the postponement of a number of theatrical productions and delays in television and film projects in Europe during last month. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cinderella” recently moved its opening night to London’s West End about a month after an actor tested positive, while productions like “Hairspray” at the London Coliseum and “Romeo and Juliet” at Shakespeare’s Globe also experienced delays. following positive tests.
In the United States, the Delta variant is now responsible for the majority of cases, and some experts recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks again to protect the unvaccinated.
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