COVID Pushes Shorts A Year Out, Delays Arsht Bway Season

By Bill Hirschman

The pandemic and other issues are causing some companies performing at the programs at the Arsht Center in Miami to once again rearrange schedules. They will delay the start of the Broadway In Miami season from September to the end of the year, and cause City Theatre to postponed the anticipated Silver Anniversary of  Summer Shorts to 2022.

Shorts had been planned for 2020 and then 2021, but safety concerns convinced officials at City Theatre and the Arsht to move the special program to June 2, 2022 – July 2, 2022 when it could be mounted indoors.

The annual nationally-renowned showcase for new and proven short plays will return to the two-program format it inaugurated in 1996, with a twist. Program A will feature “All New Works” culled from submissions of the City Theatre National Short Playwriting Contest, special commissions, and discoveries among arts partners, including Concord/Samuel Frenchʼs Off-Off Broadway Festival. Program B is planned as a “Best of the Fest” collection of favorite short plays and musicals curated from 24 seasons past. As in its early days, the theater will have a limited number of marathons during a weekend in which patrons can see both programs back to back in one day.

Additionally, City Theatre will resume its Family Musical program as part of the Summer Shorts Festival, with its own production of Bob Marleyʼs Three Little Birds.  Plus, the company will reimagine its ancillary programming for the CityWrights/Industry Weekend, with readings, creative and professional sessions for regional and national artists and theatee professionals, and free activities for audiences.

Regarding Broadway tours, the eagerly anticipated award-winning rock musical of the Orpheus myth, Hadestown, was meant to open the Broadway In Miami season on Sept. 28 has been rescheduled to December 6-11, 2022.  Instead, Hairspray, will open the season December 28.

The remainder of the 21-22 season remains the same. To see the current full schedule for Broadway in Miami and other details, visit here. Subscribers will be able to automatically keep their seat locations.

Additionally, Wicked, which had been expected to return in 2020, is now slated for February 15 – March 5, 2023. Subscribers will have first access to seats for the return of Wicked when they renew their subscription for the 2022/2023 season.

A news release stated, “With Broadway tours suspended for over a year now, it continues to be challenging for producers to recast, rehearse, and successfully prepare their shows to get back on the road…. Broadway tours stop in many states along their routes, which means that all venues across the country must be open at 100% for tours to resume. These challenges, along with the continued effects of COVID-19 on the touring Broadway industry, have resulted in the recent changes to the Broadway in Miami schedule.”

While theaters and companies across the country have been struggling with the Actors Equity Association and other unions to get permission for its members to perform in a safe environments, “any initial Equity issues have been or are being worked through,” wrote Susie Krajsa, president of Broadway Across America, the overseeing tours presenter.

She said a similar situation of postponements and an addition will affect the Broadway Across America tours appearing the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale, but there will no complete cancellation. \


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