It is hard to say what it will be, because we are all shut down right now. We have self-immobilized to protect everyone from large-scale transmission, which is a good thing. There are heightened cleaning methods being implemented in the theater and offices. Even a few weeks ago when we were in the offices in Times Square, everyone's computer was being cleaned every three hours. They would say to us, “Please move, we are spraying your entire desk.” It was both good and disquieting, because that was before we understood the scope of the virus in the U.S. The largest societal change will come when we are back and have to say, “Now, everyone, it's time to come back. I know you may have been out of a job, but please come spend your time with us in a big room and pay a price to be here with us.” I wonder what the public will say, we all do. Is there anyone who will buy a $150 to $500 ticket to bring their family of four to the theater? How many people will want to come on $50 tickets, or even for free? Will we run theaters at full capacity? Half capacity? Will we sell concessions? Will we need to close several shows temporarily? How will society look on the entertainment front? On the travel front, I think things will bounce back. The first thing to come back will be people getting flights, and they will book hotels. But will they be booking movies anymore with the shift to streaming that is happening now — will anyone want to buy a $20 movie ticket? Will people immediately come back to Broadway for, in a lot of cases, $100 a ticket? It is hard to say what that will look like as it all starts back up. Will there be a new normal? And what that will be? The cost of running a show will not change, and something's gotta give. There is so much uncertainty right now. We will just have to see what happens next.
Thomas Laub is a theatrical producer and holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. Broadway credits include SLAVE PLAY and AMERICAN UTOPIA. Upcoming: Douglas Carter Beane's FAIRYCAKES and SHEL.