We still have a long way to go, friends. Here’s the story in the New York Times.
Author: Jason Livingston
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
- Write to your local Congressional leaders
- 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 for Outstanding 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!
Many of us have suspected it, but it’s now official – Broadway will not reopen in 2020. The press release says that, “The Broadway League announced today that Broadway performances in New York City will be suspended through the remainder of 2020 due to COVID-19.”
“The Broadway experience can be deeply personal but it is also, crucially, communal,” said Chairman of the Board of The Broadway League Thomas Schumacher. “The alchemy of 1000 strangers bonding into a single audience fueling each performer on stage and behind the scenes will be possible again when Broadway theatres can safely host full houses. Every single member of our community is eager to get back to work sharing stories that inspire our audience through the transformative power of a shared live experience. The safety of our cast, crew, orchestra and audience is our highest priority and we look forward to returning to our stages only when it’s safe to do so. One thing is for sure, when we return we will be stronger and more needed than ever.”
You can read the full press release here.