• Home
  • Theater
  • How the Broadway community is hurting during the pandemic

How the Broadway community is hurting during the pandemic

When you first think of the NYC needing to put Broadway shows on pause, the first victims that come to mind, at least for me, were the audience members. Those who paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars to enjoy a professional performance of some of their favorite musicals or in some cases, plays. A lot of shows gave full refunds to ticket holders or gave them the option to watch a performance from the comfort of their own home but of course, either way, is devastating for theatre fanatics. But, it’s important to take into consideration the men and women who dedicate months of their time rehearsing and perfecting their lines, songs, and stage directions to put food on the table. Thousands of actors and actresses are unemployed and struggling due to the closure of theatres across the globe. Unfortunately for these performers, it can be very difficult to find another job within their skillset. Even those who work behind the scenes in stage productions and costume designers are jobless and now looking for other ways to support themselves and their families during the global pandemic. 

At the New Amsterdam theatre, when disaster struck the world, Josh Drake was starring in Broadway’s Aladdin left jobless and uneasy about what to do to support himself. Although he has been taking this time off to focus on his physical health to ensure he is the best version of himself possible when Broadway does return, the financial difficulties he has faced have also affected his emotional health. Especially living in a city like New York City, losing money can be terrifying and detrimental to someone’s livelihood. As the end of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance rounds the corner, many people like Drake are stuck scrambling to stay afloat financially and mentally. Amidst the dismay, Drake has been relying on creative outlets to bring some joy to his life and find new hobbies like photography and videography, 

Not only does Broadway’s closure create a huge roadblock for starring actors and actresses in their career success and progress but also puts behind the scenes crew at a huge disadvantage as well. Thankfully, for people like costume makers and choreographers, they have some wiggle room when it comes to finding a job they meet the criteria for. For example, costumer maker, Amy Micallef who has designed and make costumes worn by the stars of Hamilton and Frozen, has turned to toy making as a quarantine money maker. Not only do the toys she made feel soft to the touch but can be used when her customers are feeling angry or worried. For Broadway choreographer Ali Solomon, her projects came to a halt in the height of her career forcing her to get a job as a skincare salesperson. She is still teaching in-person and online dance lessons and making some money to keep her stable but fortunately, she had savings to lean back on. 

Throughout this pandemic, I believe that we have been able to see our workforce in a completely different light. Despite many being able to find new employment, go remote for their job or live off of the stimulus check sent out to unemployed people, you never really realize how particular careers are really put on pause. Working on or for Broadway is an amazing career path filled with so many opportunities that make it hard to imagine backfiring in the COVID era where your skillset may not line up with the job pool. It’s important to continue to do your part and stop the spread of COVID-19 in order to get places like Broadway back up and running and give these talented individuals not just their jobs back but their livelihood as well. 

Share:

Join Our Mailing List

    Recent Articles

    Why Warm-Ups Matter

    For many people, the life of an actor is one that appears glamorous and exciting, but there is often a fear that inhibits people from pursuing this lifestyle. This fear is, unfortunately, one that cannot be avoided by an actor as simply as a claustrophobe might avoid small spaces. Performance anxiety is a very real and very limiting fear that often confronts people and deters them from following their passion for performing. Though it can be incredibly fun and cathartic to perform, it can also be very hard at times for actors to overcome the anxiety that comes with bearing one’s emotions and actions to an audience. Thankfully though, there is a way to work through this roadblock. By spending enough time warming up before a performance, actors may soothe their anxiety enough for them to put on a show. The physicality and social aspects of acting warm-ups make warm-ups a well-suited weapon for combating performance anxiety and thus putting on a better show.

    Why Schools Need More Drama Education

    One of the most memorable learning experiences in my days as a grade schooler didn’t take place inside a classroom, but rather on the stage of my quaint elementary school’s small auditorium. A traveling acting duo–a man and woman, whose names I’ve sadly forgotten– stopped by our school to sweep us up in a two-day improv training experience, where the children of my grade got to romp about on stage and build upon a variety of kid-imagined scenarios in the name of theater. I found the whole thing amazing, and it connected me and my classmates in a way that I had never experienced before. Though I had no formal knowledge of the technical benefits of drama instruction, I knew even then that this was something everyone should experience.

    How Helping Backstage Can Get You On Stage

    If you have ever wanted to be in the spotlight but have found yourself deterred from taking on the challenge of an audition, then I have the perfect solution for you. While the glitz and glamor of acting on stage is what catches most people’s eye in the theater, it isn’t always possible to get on stage, whether that be because you couldn’t land the part, or didn’t have the confidence to take on an audition. Thankfully though, there is a way to engage with the theater that doesn’t involve performing for an audience. Every theater production needs a crew to put together the world that the cast will be acting in. Take it from me, someone who has been in both the cast and crew before, working in a theater crew is a great way to build up the confidence and know-how needed to nail that next audition.

    4 Musicals Set for Movie Adaptations

    It isn’t uncommon for beloved classics to be revived, rewritten, and retold over time, and musicals are no exception. There have been several musical-to-film adaptations over the years, and that stream isn’t ending anytime soon. Sure, some film retellings have flopped, but there are also a large number of iconic stage-to-screen revivals that honor the original medium of a story in an entirely new, beautifully cinematic way. Here are four upcoming musicals set for movie adaptations that will hopefully join the ranks of those legendary revivals.

    Three Reasons to go See a Play This Holiday Season

    Looking for a new tradition to shake up the holiday season? Well I have the perfect suggestion. Going out to see a play or show is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season. Not only does it allow people an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones and those within their communities, but it represents the spirit of philanthropy, giving back, and uniting communities.
    Going out to see a play is a great way to support your community. Most community theaters try to put on some sort of production for the holidays, and taking the time to go and see what they have been working on is a great way to acknowledge all of the time and effort that the cast and crew put into the show during months of rehearsals.

    KPOP Ends Run On Broadway Early

    The production of KPOP will end its run on Broadway early after receiving poor reviews and grossing less in ticket sales than initially expected. The production was previewed at the Circle in the Square Theatre on October 13th and opened on November 27th. So far, the show has had 44 previews and just 17 reviews. KPOP’s last performance will be at the same Circle in the Square Theatre this Sunday.

    Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!