ArtsEmerson executive director David Howse writes a piece reflecting on the past year without in-person theatre performances. While online, virtual shows have advantages, they are not the same. Howse notes, “Believe it or not, I even miss the unsuccessful attempt of fellow audience members to surreptitiously open crinkling candy wrappers.”
And the much-anticipated news is out: Performance venues in Boston will be allowed to open on March 22. How I wish it were as easy as flipping a switch and opening the theaters on that day, but we know that there are many important steps to take before reopening, like contracting artists and aligning our practices with new safety protocols. This will take time. But when our physical doors open again — and we are cautiously optimistic that it will be as early as the fall — I hope that we’ll abandon nostalgia for the good old days, knowing that the good old days were not good for everybody. As we prepare to return, let’s decide to do something different: expand our capacity to love by expanding our curiosity about others and our imagination to see that everyone has a place in this city.