COVID-19 has sent a shock wave through multiple industries over the past seven months, but of all of industries barely hanging on through the pandemic – the performing arts might be taking the biggest blow. 

Many theaters, playhouses, music clubs and art museums already existed on thin margins, but what happens when you take away the crowds for a year, maybe more? There are still many lingering questions about when these theaters can reopen, and when they do, will people want to come back?

Broadway theaters in New York are shut down through May of next year. Meanwhile, Connecticut has its own performing arts crisis to contend with: six prestigious regional theaters, known as The Connecticut Flagship Producing Theaters, that have no clear pathway to reopening their doors. The six theaters banded together to ask the state for $12 million in CARES act funding, but this week, they learned that state grants would only total $9 million for the whole sector.

Today on “Steady Habits,” John is joined by his podcast producer Jessica Freedman, whose article, “COVID leaves Connecticut’s theater scene seeking a way forward,” is up on The CT Mirror now. On this episode, they dive into the collapse of one theater in particular: Goodspeed Musicals of East Haddam.

John is CT Mirror's Director of Events. A well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator, he divides his time between CT Mirror — where he heads up our events program and serves as a multi-platform consultant — and the NPR / PRI program Science Friday. Previously, John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show.

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