Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater

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

July 22, 2020

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.

In response to this crisis, the A.R.T. joined with the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to create this roadmap, which first launched on May 27. This “Second Edition,” dated July 22, features extensive updates and additions to our Facilities and Administration sections, as well as a new section on five key Developments to Watch as scientists continue to learn more about the virus. More updates will be added in the coming months as we develop and test protocols for in-person work, rehearsals and performance.

As we grapple with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the reckoning with this country’s long history of racial inequity has redefined what recovery will mean. Racism in America is a national public health crisis, and an integral part of the A.R.T.’s recovery from the pandemic is becoming an anti-racist institution. Embedding anti-racism into our theater practice, policies and culture will be foundational to our path forward. With a commitment to transparency and learning, we will share this process as part of this roadmap in editions to come.

As we look to the future of 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.

— 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.