COVID-19 Update

Program Updates

UPDATE | SUN, MAR 22, 2020

We hope this email finds you and yours well at this difficult time. As I sit at home with my 17-year old daughter who is in her senior year of high school, I deeply understand the uncharted and uncertain terrain that we, as a community - local, national and global - are navigating in response to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). As part of efforts to “flatten the curve” and ensure the safety of our community of audiences, artists, students, and staff alike, The Billie Holiday Theatre has joined other institutions to take the necessary measures in keeping with protocols set out by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Governor Cuomo announced the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM today on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason. More here.

While The Billie’s programs and venues remain closed until further notice and The Billie's administrative team works remotely, we want to assure you that as a staff, our hearts and minds remain open, deepening our resolve to stay connected with you in new and meaningful ways. Throughout history, the arts have been mankind’s answer in times of unthinkable struggle, hardship, and chaos. This will be no different and I have no doubt that we will emerge stronger, more resilient, and more united than ever before. We want to assure you that we are strategically moving through this with the intentionality, planning, and innovative spirit you have come to expect from The Billie.

Stay well, stay safe, and ever-forward!
Dr. Indira Etwaroo
Executive Artistic Director, The Billie Holiday Theatre

UPDATE | TUE, MAR 17, 2020
In response to the increasing challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), The Billie Holiday Theatre has announced that it will suspend public performances effective immediately until further notice.
Although these decisions have been difficult and complex to make, The Billie Holiday Theatre’s commitment to the health and safety of our audiences and artists is of the utmost importance and our primary priority and, therefore, it is a decision that we are glad to make for the well-being of our community.
MAINSTAGE PRODUCTIONS: Our major spring production, which is now in rehearsal, Before It Hits Home, will be postponed until further notice. The Billie Holiday Theatre’s ticket office will be contacting ticket holders regarding all of their options. The production is an award-winning play and a profound story that ironically speaks to another pandemic that changed our world in the 1980s and 1990s. As this current challenging situation unfolds, we will seek ways to be able to share this story with our audiences in the very near future. We are grateful to all the artists and craftspeople who are impacted by these upheavals in their professional schedules as they have been the embodiment of grace.
EDUCATIONAL AND COMMUNITY CLASSES: Additionally, all community-based and education programming, including our Youth Arts Academy and Black Arts Institute, run by The Billie Holiday Theatre at Restoration Plaza or in partnership with neighborhood non-profit and other organizations will be temporarily suspended, or, where possible, conducted online.
We will continue to monitor the situation, and we wish to assure our supporters and all of Central Brooklyn community members and beyond that we will institute every possible measure to ensure the continuing health, not only of our many constituencies, but also of our institution, as we navigate this uncharted territory together as a local and global community.
Dr. Indira Etwaroo
Executive Artistic Director, The Billie Holiday Theatre
UPDATE MARCH 16, 2020 | 7:54am
The Mayor has announced closings that will impact the operations and circumstances of cultural institutions. Please note:
- All NYC public schools are closed effective Monday, March 16 through April 20th; distance learning is starting next week.
- All senior centers are closed.
Effective 5pm Monday, March 16 all the following must close
- Theaters
- Concert venues
- Movie theaters
- Clubs
- Bars with no food
- Restaurants, bars and cafes can provide take out and delivery only, not dine-in







Resources for Artists

The COVID-19 pandemic has a unique and far-reaching impact on the arts world, particularly our artists on the stage and behind-the-scenes.  Please find more information from Creative Capital, which serves as a comprehensive link to resources for artists at this time.

The Billie Holiday Theatre stands with you now and always.

"The arts do live continuously, and they live literally by faith; their names and their shapes and their uses and their basic meanings survive unchanged in all that matters through times of interruption, diminishment, neglect; they outlive governments and creeds and the societies, even the very civilization that produced them. They cannot be destroyed altogether because they represent the substance of faith and the only reality. They are what we find again when the ruins are cleared away." - Katherine Anne Porter