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Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater

A Collaboration Between the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University and the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

For theaters around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in existential uncertainty about our future. It has also created an opportunity for a necessary reset and reimagining.

As we look to our future at the A.R.T., we see an opportunity to make an ongoing commitment to public health in our practice and our programming. We view this as a process that will guide our work for years to come. This journey will eventually include the creation of our new home in Allston—a breathable and healthy building that will provide a space for vital civic dialogue about the world we want to be.

Every creative process is driven by questions. We offer the framework of this roadmap as an ongoing inquiry generated through a collaboration with the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. At this time, there are more questions than answers, but we believe that articulating the questions will lead to preparedness. This “First Edition” of the roadmap, dated May 27, offers an initial set of considerations. We have deliberately not focused on tactical protocols for rehearsal and performance, as we anticipate the landscape changing over the coming months. We will continue to add content in the form of future editions as we develop and test protocols in the months ahead. Finally, we will learn by doing and share what we learn.

— Diane Paulus, A.R.T. Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director


Contact Us

We know theaters around the world are working on the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and are eager to discuss strategies and insights as our industry plots a path forward. If you would like to share how your organization is planning for recovery and resilience, please contact us at

Healthy Buildings

This roadmap is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as a set of directions. Please see About the Use of This Resource for further explanation.

Above, Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac in The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville: Gretjen Helene Photography.