What happens when a theatre actor dies during a show’s run?

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If a production was on and an actor passed away between shows, or right before the run was set to start, would the show go on? Either way, what ramifications would there be?

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The stand in takes up the role all productions have people who have learnt the part and are ready to fill in if needed at short notice many times they will be other cast members.

The show will have what’s called an understudy take their place. Usually they’re playing a different character in the production.

Most shows would cancel the next few performances, not just because the cast will be grieving and not in a good place emotionally to perform, but so that they could also get the understudy prepared to take over the role full time.

The show must go on is a philosophy, not a rule set in stone.

It depends. They would want to do almost anything they can to replace them. There are a lot of people who have spent a lot of time to prepare for the show. This is their livelihood. Some theaters have contingency plans for things like this or just an actor getting sick. Actors might have practiced a bit in each others roles and can step in if they have to. Lines might be changed around a bit between actors in some cases. Actors who have played on a previous production of the same play might be asked to join as a replacement. They would do whatever they can to replace the actor.

8 Simple Rules was midway through the second season when John Ritter died. They tried to continue the show by having David Spade become the long lost uncle (he was the father character). It failed miserably but you can’t replace a legend with an asshat so….