There have been only a few times in history when Broadway has “gone dark.” Even at the height of the 1918 flu pandemic, New York City’s theatre district remained open. Now, as theatres begin to welcome (vaccinated) audiences, we’re bringing you a selection of pieces about the art we’ve missed so much.

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In “All About the Hamiltons,” from 2015, Rebecca Mead profiles Lin-Manuel Miranda and talks with the playwright about “Hamilton” in the period before its opening. Vinson Cunningham explores the treatment of race in two radically different plays, Aaron Sorkin’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Jeremy O. Harris’s “Slave Play.” In “Fortress Mamet,” John Lahr profiles David Mamet, whose play “American Buffalo” is currently in revival. In “Alice Childress, the Last Woman Standing,” Hilton Als chronicles the fascinating career of the Black playwright. Finally, in “Performers on Lockdown Turn to Their Smartphones,” Alexandra Schwartz writes about the early days of the pandemic shutdown and the ways in which people coped with the resulting vacuum. “Nine days, which feel like nine weeks, have gone by, as of this writing, since Broadway went dark and New York’s theatres closed their doors,” she observes. “By the time you read this, it may well feel like nine years. The suddenness with which the city’s performance ecosystem has vanished defies comprehension—it’s as if the Great Barrier Reef had died overnight.”

David Remnick

All About the Hamiltons

A new musical brings the Founding Fathers back to life—with a lot of hip-hop.

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Illustration of "To Kill a Mockingbird" play

Black and White in “Slave Play” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Jeremy O. Harris’s new work and Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel explore the politics and the power at the heart of America’s racial regime.

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David Mamet at the typewriter

Fortress Mamet

Where did the playwright get his gift for the swagger of American speech?

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Illustration of two women, one holding an open script, the other wearing white gloves.

Alice Childress, the Last Woman Standing

A new look at the pioneering playwright.

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An illustration of online theatre

Performers on Lockdown Turn to Their Smartphones

In a time of fear and strained feeling, creative people are doing what they can for us from their living rooms.

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