Westchester Broadway Theatre, a dinner theatre located an hour outside New York City, has announced that their doors have shut permanently, a casualty of COVID-19.
Operating for 46 years, the company's 217 mainstage productions have featured performances by such Broadway names as Holland Taylor, Randy Graff, Robert Cuccioli, Faith Prince, Will Swenson, and Carolee Carmello, many when just starting their careers. The theatre also served as a career stepping stone for such directors and choreographers as Rob Marshall, Susan Stroman, Kathleen Marshall, and Charles Repole.
The news was announced by theatre co-founders Bob Funking and Bill Stutler in a letter to staff, in which they determined that the theatre's 46-year life makes it the longest running year-round Equity theatre in New York state history. Funking and Stutler estimate that some six million audience members passed through their doors over that time.
Westchester Broadway Theatre was one of the last major dinner theatres still in operation. Once a staple of the theatre industry nationwide, the National Dinner Theatre Association now counts just 21 member theatres, many of which are themselves currently closed due to restrictions put in place in response to the spread of COVID-19.