A Letter from President & CEO Arlene Shuler
March 13, 2021
I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. It is hard to believe, but it has been one year since we had to close our doors and cancel the remainder of our 2019-2020 season. We have all been through so much since then, but with your support City Center has continued to provide a home for artists and audiences at a time when we all needed it most.
On the day that the shutdown of New York’s theaters was announced, we were in the final rehearsals for our highly anticipated Encores! production of Love Life. As you may have seen in our most recent Encores! Inside the Revival episode, even amidst the uncertainty of what was to come, the cast and creative team felt strongly that they wanted to come together in the rehearsal room for one more run through of the show. I carried that moment with me as we considered how to move forward as an institution during such an unprecedented time. From the beginning, our priority was to find new ways to support artists so that they could continue to create and perform despite our theater being closed and to share that with our audiences, students, and educators while they remain safely at home.
As I reflect on this past year, I am proud of the way we have lived up to New York City Center’s legacy of resilience and innovation. Soon after the shutdown, we launched our Encores! Archives Project featuring songs from your favorite Encores! productions. We also aired our first digital programming—New York City Center Live @ Home, which included Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer V.6: Us, and the popular Studio 5 series featuring Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns, and Tiler Peck. In October, we took the historic step to turn the lights back on in our theater and invite audiences around the world to experience the magic of our first-ever digital Fall for Dance Festival filmed from our stage. Since then we have been able to bring programming by beloved artists such as Billy Porter, Audra McDonald, Matthew Bourne, and so many more, directly into your home.
I know that all of us are eager to return to the theater and it is our hope and plan to reopen for live performances this fall. In the meantime, we will continue keeping artists employed and bringing you the programming you love. I can’t wait to share more about the 2021-2022 season with you in the coming months and, in the meanwhile, I hope you will tune in for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Festival and ABT Live from City Center | A Ratmansky Celebration, plus more exciting digital programs that will be announced in the weeks to come.
Thank you as always for your ongoing support. I look forward to seeing you back in our beloved theater just as soon as it’s possible.
With gratitude and warmest wishes,
President & CEO