25 Free Performances Come to Bryant Park Starting in June
Once arriving at the park, patrons will have their temperatures checked and be shown to their seats, which will be arranged with room for social distancing. The park does not plan to require vaccinations or proof of negative virus tests, but it is considering those as options, according to Dan Fishman, the park’s director of public events.
Among the other organizations participating in Bryant Park’s series this summer are Elisa Monte Dance, Harlem Stage, National Sawdust, New York Chinese Cultural Center, Limón Dance Company and Greenwich House Music School. Singers from the New York City Opera will perform a Pride concert on June 18.
Many groups and institutions have been scaled down or cocooned altogether since last year.
“We’ve been in hibernation,” said Tom Wirtshafter, the president of the Town Hall, which has put on more than 60 virtual programs during the pandemic but, as with most venues, had to furlough most of its staff.
Town Hall, which opened its doors in 1921, will close Bryant Park’s season on Sept. 20 with a 100th-anniversary event featuring Chris Thile, the mandolin player whose eclectic tastes range from bluegrass to Bach.
Tiffany Rea-Fisher, the artistic director of Elisa Monte Dance, who also curates dance performances at the park, said her company has performed only twice in the last year. It will perform on Aug. 20 with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Rea-Fisher said it was not easy to find other dance groups that would be prepared.
“It was challenging, finding companies that were ready, stamina-wise,” she said. “You don’t want to bring dancers back after a year and have them hit a performance — it’s just asking for injury.”