Two weeks ago the Metropolitan Opera announced that it was cancelling its entire 2020/21 season. Today, the Broadway League announced that Broadway performances would remain suspended through the end of May 2021. Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said,
With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to re-opening as soon as conditions permit us to do so. We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again
The announcement effectively cancels the 2020/21 Broadway season leaving a question about what will happen with next year’s Tony Awards. More importantly is the question of what will happen to all of the artists and technicians who work on Broadway whose 39 weeks of extended unemployment benefits will run out in December of this year.
If you care about the future of the performing arts in America, contact your Senator and Representative and urge them to pass The Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258) which has been trapped in committee in the Senate since July 7th. Introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), it provides vital support for performing arts venues that have lost nearly 100% of their revenue since the pandemic began in March. The companion bill in the House (H.R. 7806) is led by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Williams (R-TX).
Red Alert is a nationwide event taking place on September 1, 2020 to call attention to the plight of all live event/entertainment workers who have no work, no income and seemingly nowhere to turn for help. Consider this:
Live events employ over 12 million people.
Live events contributes over $1 trillion annually to the US economy.
95% of live events have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
96% of companies have cut staff and/or wages.
77% of people in the live events industry have lost 100% of their income, including 97% of 1099 workers.
On September 1st, 2020, #WeMakeEvents, a coalition of trade organizations, businesses, unions, and live events workers, will light up their venues, homes, and cities in red at over 1,500 locations across North America to raise public and media awareness in support of the live events.
That’s a great idea! How can I help?
Share your story about what live events mean to you, whether you’re on stage, backstage, or in the audience.
Post on social media with the hashtags #WeMakeEvents, #RedAlertRESTART, and #ExtendPUA
Light up your home, porch, apartment, etc. in RED on September 1 — be sure to take photos and share them on social media!
Is this for real?
Absolutely! We personally know directors, designers, production managers, stage hands, stage managers and performers who haven’t worked since March, and who have no expectation of going back to work before March of 2021 at the earliest. Yes, unemployment insurance has been extended (at least in New York), but without the extra $600 unemployment for many is only enough to cover rent – so all other expenses have to be paid with savings, for as long as savings last. How many of us have enough savings to cover 12 months of expenses? And let’s face it, with an average of one million new unemployment claims every week for over 20 weeks, almost no one is going to “Find Something New”.
All of the theatres that Studio T+L has designed over the years are dark. The venues that are in construction will sit empty when they are finished. We know that many people are hit hard by the economic impact of the corona virus, but the entire live entertainment industry closed. Please do what you can to help!
Today the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, who jointly present the Tony Awards, announced that they will go forward with an online ceremony this fall. The Antoinette Perry “Tony” Award, which was founded by the American Theatre Wing in 1947, is bestowed annually on theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway. Eligibility and a presentation date will be announced soon. The American Theatre Wing press release notes:
“Though unprecedented events cut the 2019-2020 Broadway season short, it was a year full of extraordinary work that deserves to be recognized,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President & CEO of the American Theatre Wing. “We are thrilled not only to have found a way to properly celebrate our artists’ incredible achievements this season, but also to be able to uplift the entire theatre community and show the world what makes our Broadway family so special at this difficult time. The show must go on, no matter what – and it will.”
Our own Ed McCarthy has received his fifth Emmy nomination! Ed was part of the lighting team for the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. The team’s work has been nominated forOutstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special. Ed’s previous nominations were for lighting of the Tony Awards in 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Congratulations, Ed!