Sleep No More, one of the largest and most well-known immersive theater experiences in New York, is officially opening up to guests again after a nearly two-year-long closure.
The production went dark in March of 2020 and—although performances were scheduled to resume last October—the Delta variant lengthen the hiatus period. Finally, on February 14, Sleep No More will once again welcome ticket holders—albeit with new protocols and new masks in place.
Let's start with the infamous face coverings that have become synonymous with the interactive production. The New York Times reports that the white "pointy" masks that Punchdrunk, the company that created the show, is known for will give way to "smoother, more streamlined" ones that "cut above the nose and across the cheekbones." According to the outlet, the new face shields are intended to be worn with a white KN95 mask—which the staff will distribute at the door—and are therefore shaped in particular ways.
The Times also reveals that, moving forward, entering audience members will be asked to "please give your fellow patrons and the residents a bit of breathing room and keep a respectful distance." To put it simply: everyone try to stay six feet apart.
Still inside Chelsea's McKittrick Hotel, the production has also undergone some space-related changes. Industrial-size dehumidifiers have been installed, for example, and the ventilation system has been updated overall as well.
The resumption of the critically acclaimed show comes at the heels of Governor Kathy Hochul's decision to lift the mask mandate across the state starting today. What that means on a practical level has yet to be seen (more on that right here), but if the folks behind Sleep No More were to follow directions by other theater productions around town, it would seem that masks aren't really going anywhere. In fact, Broadway World reported that the "Broadway League mask guidance will indeed stay in place through April 30, 2022."
For what it's worth, we're excited to be able to immerse ourselves in the Macbeth-like experience that Punchdrunk has been hosting since 2011. Speaking of: the show's 10-year anniversary has come and gone while the theater went dark—but it's never too late to properly celebrate.