It’s been a rough few months for the people who make their livelihood in the theater and entertainment industry. Think for a minute how far the shutdown order’s ripple effect on the cities and towns that rely on theaters known as Off-Broadway has been. The impact has not only been one of financial hardship but also one that eats at our country’s mental and emotional health.
It’s not just the streets of New York City and the famed “Great White Way” that finds itself in trouble during the shut down. Other major cities that host Off-Broadway theaters, smaller “Off-off” Broadway theaters, and even, community theaters are struggling with plans for the future.
The Ripple Effect
Broadway and Off-Broadway productions are like an ecosystem. Although these theaters may be in different cities and draw upon a wide range of theatergoers, they are all intertwined with each other and with other industries that support the theaters.
Take for example a shuttered theater in the heart of the theater district in Chicago. Not only will the actors and production crew lose their livelihoods, but also the vendors that count on that theater to have regular performances. Step out a little further and think of the hotels and restaurants in the vicinity of the theaters who are losing the clientele that they rely on due to the shows that are now shuttered. In short, the closing of theaters on and off Broadway have caused a ripple effect that is impacting thousands of people who work in and around the entertainment industry.
Financial and Emotional Concerns
Obviously the shuttering of theaters across the country has huge ramifications on the financial wellbeing of the people who work in the industry. Beyond the financial hardship, comes the emotional hardship that this closing of theaters has caused.
Theater, whether it is a play, musical, or for audience entertainment like Blue Man Group provides an outlet for millions of people every year. It is fun to get dressed up, go out to dinner, and be entertained for a few hours. It is an emotional release that Americans, and dare I say the whole world, needs right now.
If you are a theater lover and you have a theater that you love, now is the time to give a gift. Support with a donation, pre-order tickets, or support a cause like the Actors Fund that is helping to financially support many who are currently out of work in the theater industry.