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Metro Detroit live theater performers cope with having their careers put on hold

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are being felt everywhere — especially in the creative industries and live theater.

A 2020 Brookings Institution study looked at the impact between April and July. It found that 1.4 million theater jobs were lost, that’s roughly half. The industry lost about $42.5 billion in sales.

Rough estimates suggest there are about 40 professional theaters in Metro Detroit. That doesn’t count community theaters. A lot of people were affected when the lights went out on live theater.

It’s been one of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic. There is no way to put on a show and pack the house safely. For nine months, theaters have been dark, seats have been empty and they have no concrete day to return.

Detroit Public Theater got creative a few months back. It produced two shows with a NY Public Theater and broadcast them on public TV.

John Sloan III is thinking outside the box as well. He plans for a virtual festival. The Obsidian Theater Festival. It has six plays and two musicals that will stream online in March.

Watch the video above for the full report.

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