'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' Will Not Reopen Following Broadway's Coronavirus Shutdown

Producers for the Broadway revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf announced that the show will close.

The revival's producers, Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and David Geffen, confirmed the closure on Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The play was scheduled to open on April 9 and would play until August 2. When all Broadway shows went dark on March 12 due to government restrictions on public gatherings, the show had nine preview performances.

Directed by Joe Mantello, the revival was set to star Laurie Metcalf and Rupert Everett along with Russell Tovey and Patsy Ferran. It was the fourth time Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf was brought back for Broadway.

According to Deadline, the show's cancellation came due to "cast scheduling conflicts amid the shutdown." It's the second show to close, with producers of Martin McDonagh's comedy Hangmen announcing that it would close, too. Despite plans for other shows to reopen on April 13, the Broadway League, which represents producers and theater owners, is looking at possibly extending the closure longer, possibly lasting into the summer.

Ticketholders will be automatically refunded if they bought tickets through box offices, TKTS, Telecharge, or TDF. Other patrons should contact their point of purchase.

Broadway shows have been shuttered since March 12, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio banned gatherings of over 100 people. The shutdown until April 13 is longer than any previous shutdown for snow, strikes or even the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to The New York Times. "The full effects of this on the industry can't possibly be known yet, but our priority has to be the well-being of audiences and our Broadway families," said Broadway League chairman and Disney Theatrical Productions president Thomas Schumacher.

Besides the two shows closing, Broadway producers came to an "emergency relief agreement" on Friday, which would still allow union employees on the Great White Way to get paid for the week that was cut short due to the shutdown and a contractual minimum for the two following weeks. Health benefits will still be in effect until April 12, the Times reported.

"We've been trying to find the sweet spot between getting the greatest number of benefits for our members, while still trying to make sure we don't bankrupt the individual shows in the process. Our members would like to have jobs to go back to," Actors' Equity Association president Kate Shindle said.

laurie metcalf
Laurie Metcalf attends the 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 09, 2019 in New York City. Metcalf was set to star in the "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" revival. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty