NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Performing Arts Center hopes to bring back the magic of live theatre after having to close its doors when the pandemic hit last year.
The year started in a big way, Hamilton: An American Musical came to Music City. Then just a couple of months later, the world as we knew it started to change. Broadway theaters in New York City closed their doors.
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center announced Tuesday that smash Broadway hit, 'Hamilton: An American Musical' will be included in the 2019-20 season. TPAC also confirmed the schedule for the 2018-19 season.
"It was a turning point. The reverberation from that decision really hit all of us. You just don't see the lights on Broadway go dark," Jennifer Turner, president, and CEO at TPAC, said.
New York City tourism and real estate officials are hoping Thursday night's New Year's Eve celebration will mark a turning point for Times Square, the Manhattan neighborhood that has become a symbol of sorts for the economic ills of the Covid-19 economy.
Turner said the decision impacted the entire industry.
"One city has to be the same as the next city," Turner said. "There's a bus that loads up the set and goes to the next market."
TPAC started to look for other ways to showcase the arts.
"We don't need to bring in art from New York. We have art here," Turner said. "We have worked really hard to figure out how we can run this business more efficiently and reach more people through the arts. How we can partner with others in our community."
TPAC partnered with local businesses such as the National Museum of African American Music and Greenbrier Whiskey with virtual salon series. They also wanted to keep art alive inside of schools.
"They got their masks on, and they're socially distanced, and then I visit them on a screen. So it's like I am an interactive Mr. Rogers," Alison Brazil, teaching artist at TPAC, said.
While being virtual isn't ideal, Brazil said it has allowed her to make an even more significant impact on people worldwide.
"The arts are part of what helps us heal," Brazil said.
Turner said she believes that audiences could be back inside of the theaters this fall. TPAC has partnered with HCA Healthcare and its Tristar Health affiliate to help with the safe return. To learn more, click here.