That day, Judi Wilfore, the house manager for the Imperial Theater, remembers standing in the lobby before the scheduled evening performance of “Ain’t Too Proud” and breaking the news to ticketholders. Even though Broadway shut down on a Thursday, Wilfore came to work that weekend, too, in case any audience members showed up.

Over the summer, Wilfore decided that she needed to find work elsewhere, so she took an online course at Health Education Services, to get certified as a Covid compliance officer. At Friday’s event in Times Square, it was her job to make sure people were following safety guidelines and to manage a team of front-of-house theater staffers who were hired to help run the event.

Wilfore has been a compliance officer for gigs here and there — including the load-out of the “Beetlejuice” set from the Winter Garden Theater — but like many in the industry, she yearns for the eventual return to indoor theater, where she oversaw the bustling movements of staffers and audience members.

“We love what we do,” she said, “and the fact that we haven’t been able to do it in a year is unfathomable.”

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