The Kimmel Cultural Campus announces its reopening plan for Fall 2021. The season will kick off with a spectacular Broadway line-up showcasing 13 blockbuster productions with a combined 42 Tony Award wins, beginning with the return of “Hamilton” on October 20.
On March 14, 2020, the Kimmel Center closed its doors. Now, with positive news and reports from Broadway touring industry organizations, the Kimmel Cultural Campus announces the return of live and in-person Broadway programming after being closed for more than a year due to COVID-19.
The theater’s fall kick-off will be in partnership with The Shubert Organization, America’s oldest professional company and the largest theater owner on Broadway.
“Our donors and patrons have given us strength during our year-long closure for which we are exceedingly grateful. They have enabled us to continue to respond to the needs of the community: transforming our education programs to the online space, partnering with local charities for food and blood drives, serving as a polling place, and even opening our doors as a peaceful resting place for protesters and police last summer,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center. “What has struck us most, during this time, is the community’s need to be together. So now we eagerly prepare for a safe reopening, allowing us to gather around the healing power of the arts at last.”
Robert E. Wankel, Chairman, and CEO of The Shubert Organization added, “It is hard to believe our stages have been shuttered for more than a year. We have persevered through these unprecedented times, never losing faith that live theater would return to lift our spirits and bring us together. I am excited to say that day is nearly upon us.”
As a result of COVID-19, and in compliance with city and state ordinances, the Kimmel Cultural Campus was forced to cancel and postpone all productions, concerts, classes and events across the Campus.
The loss of over a million guests has had a significant impact on the area around the Kimmel center as well. The economic impact of not having the Broadway series has been a tremendous loss to the center and also the city of Philadelphia.
With 93 percent of the Kimmel Center’s revenue driven by ticket sales and venue rentals, the negative financial impact of the pandemic has been dire with projected losses of more than $51-million in gross revenue.
“We’re excited that the professionals and scientists allowed us to start making plans for the future. We’re originally just waiting to get what the concrete answers were and now we are sort of getting more and more solid answers about helpful solutions to this problem and it’s allowing us to make more concrete plans for reopening,” said Frances Egler, Senior Director of Programming and Presentations at the Kimmel Cultural Campus.
“We are grateful to the thousands of loyal subscribers who continued their commitment, support, and patience during these challenging times. Our subscribers know we’ve brought families and friends together for joyful experiences, year after year; and we’ve worked tirelessly to bring everyone together again with most of the titles from the affected seasons, ” said Egler.
In anticipation of reopening its doors safely and resuming main stage performances, Campus management continues to work in consultation with health and safety experts and in accordance with City and Commonwealth guidelines in the development of its reopening plans.
“The way that things are progressing and events are progressing right now, our plan is to be able to sell all the seats in our various theaters. We’ll be taking every precaution that we need to make sure it’s as safe as possible and have that kind of capacity,” said Egler.
As the person who curates the season, Egler spent the bulk of her time this past year rescheduling every single one of the shows that had been canceled.
“I’m hoping it’s going to stick, and people are going to be able to get to see it,” she said.
The full 2021/22 season includes Hamilton (October 20 – November 28, 2021, Academy of Music); Rain – A Tribute to The Beatles (October 29 – 31, 2021, Merriam Theater); Anastasia (November 23 – 28, 2021, Merriam Theater); Stomp (December 28, 2021 – January 2, 2022, Merriam Theater); Pretty Woman: The Musical (January 4 – 16, 2022, Academy of Music); Hadestown (February 9 – 20, 2022, Academy of Music); Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (February 22 –27, 2022; Academy of Music); Rent: 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour (March 4 – 6, 2022; Merriam Theater); Oklahoma! (March 8 – 20, 2022, Forrest Theatre); Waitress (March 29 – April 3, 2022, Academy of Music); Hairspray (May 16 – 22, 2022, Merriam Theater); To Kill A Mockingbird (July 12 – 24, 2022, Academy of Music); and Dear Evan Hansen (August 16 – 28, 2022, Forrest Theatre).
There is a six-show subscription series in which three of the six shows have won a Tony for best musical. It includes “Hamilton”, “Hadestown”, and “Dear Evan Hansen”.
“Dear Evan Hansen” and “Hadestown” were both rescheduled from the previous season. Though delayed, they will ultimately make their Philadelphia debuts.
“We know the comfort level around returning to the theater will be different for everyone when we reopen in the fall and we want audiences to have a clear understanding of the safety standards we are enacting,” said Crystal Brewe, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communication at Kimmel Cultural Campus. “Our participation in a comprehensive, nation-wide study has provided us rigorous data on patron expectations that has not only informed the timing of our reopening, but the ongoing research is also informing our specific health and safety guidelines.”