At the request of company members of Broadway’s The Minutes, producers announced today that audiences will be required to continue masking through the play’s final performance on Sunday, July 24, nearly a month after Broadway at large will shift to a mask optional policy.
The Minutes, at the Studio 54 theater, becomes the second production – following American Buffalo – to extend the mask mandate through their closing nights. (American Buffalo at Circle in the Square closed July 10.)
According to recent reports, six of the 11 cast members of The Minutes were out sick with Covid in mid-June.
The mask optional policy was announced by The Broadway League, the trade organization representing theater owners and producers, earlier this month. The new policy allows individual productions to set their own protocols.
The mask debate comes as New York City’s Covid positivity rates have plateaued or even crept up in recent weeks, with daily cases in late June at about 3,333. Hospitalizations have remained consistent and comparatively low, with death rates continuing to decline.
Various high-profile Covid cases among Broadway performers have made headlines recently, with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, both of The Music Man, and Funny Girl‘s Beanie Feldstein among the cast members who have missed performances due to positive tests.
Tracy Letts’ The Minutes opened April 17 at Studio 54 for a 16-week engagement. The cast includes Letts, Ian Barford, Blair Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, Danny McCarthy, James Vincent Meredith, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, Noah Reid and Jeff Still.
As with American Buffalo, the producing team is led by Jeffrey Richards, and also includes Rebecca Gold, Carl Moellenberg, Spencer Ross and Louise Gund, among others.