The Broadway community is trying to navigate the changing situation around COVID-19, and one Newfoundland actress is back at home, watching it all unfold.
"Leading up to St. Patrick's Day … things started to really seem like people were perking up and going 'oh, this is serious and we need to do something about it," Come From Away star Petrina Bromley told CBC Radio's Weekend AM.
"As soon as they talked about the NBA and the NHL and all the sports franchises not having audience members and stopping the season, we went 'Oh. I guess we're next.'"
The cast found out all shows would be cancelled on March 12 after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered Broadway shows to close and gatherings to be limited.
The crew had recorded a segment for Good Morning America to promote new cast members earlier in the day.
"You could see already Times Square was a little empty, and they were shooting Good Morning America without an audience," Bromley said.
"The television [shows] had taken that step … so things were strange.… We all went home, planning on coming back to do the evening show, and then the news came down that afternoon."
Bromley got on a flight to return to St. John's the next day and began self-isolating.
She said she wouldn't have been comfortable staying in New York during the pandemic, based on her experience during a city-wide blackout last year that forced Broadway theatres to close for a night.
"I got my stuff together and left the theatre, and it was starting to get a little dark. And I was wandering through a darkened Times Square with a lot of people who had a lot of energy," Bromley said. "And I just thought "Wow, you know what? New York is not the place to be in the zombie apocalypse.' I was kind of joking to my self when I said that, but it stuck with me."
"I would rather be near friends and family and the Canadian healthcare system. If you don't know how long something's going to last, doesn't everybody want to go home?"
I think the message of our show is as relevant now as it ever was. - Petrina Bromley
Now that the show is cancelled for the time being, Bromley said cast members will get a couple of weeks pay. After the money comes, uncertainty follows.
"We're just laid off with a couple weeks pay," Bromley said. "That's it."
She said the cast, which is currently spread out across North America, is staying in touch during the downtime, and hopes the show can begin again by the fall.
"If it's the fall, great. There's really no way of knowing," Bromley said. "It just changes everyday."
Bromley said the Come From Away cast and production company is confident the show will get back on its feet once Broadway is able to reopen, and hopes the positive message of the show will be able to connect with people even more now.
"I think the message of our show is as relevant now as it ever was," Bromley said.
"Because it's helping, and caring for people and pulling together in the hardest of times."