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Theater, amusement industries staying afloat amid pandemic

LONG ISLAND — An outdoor rooftop performance space in New York City isn’t something you’d see every day, but in a pandemic-conscious world, it’s become the norm for St. Ann’s Warehouse.

The venue is located along the DUMBO waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park with a breathtaking view of the city. Founder and Artistic Director Susan Feldman said it’s an essential part of the city’s cultural arts tapestry.

The 40-year-old institution serves as an alternative to Manhattan’s theater scene. The flexible space features a wide range of domestic and international programming, including theater performances. But like many others, they were forced to close in March because of the pandemic.

Now Feldman has teamed up with other theater spaces like The Park Avenue Armory and The Shed, Harlem Stage, National Black Theater, and BRIC in asking the government to allow them to reopen.

According to Feldman, she and members of the task force have taken the necessary steps to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. That would mean operating a reduced capacity, taking advantage of the large open space to allow for social distancing, and installing the mandated air filtration system.

But, getting the stage up and running isn’t so cut and dry. In fact, it’s something that some venues on Long Island are also struggling with. Organizations came together for the Adventureland Rocket roller coaster rally in Farmingdale to save Long Island stages and the live music and amusement industry.

Like St. Ann’s Warehouse, they’ve managed to stay afloat by putting on outdoor events during the pandemic with the help of Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer.

Yet there’s no telling when they’ll all be able to get back to their glory days. In the meantime, they say they plan to continue their fight to reopen.

Read More: Theater, amusement industries staying afloat amid pandemic

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