There is no doubt that New York City’s Broadway District as well as theaters across the country have taken a big hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Theaters are shuttered with a 2021 opening date that many believe will not happen. That means actors, support personnel, vendors, and neighboring businesses have felt the burden of the financial closings. Could a “Save Our Stages Act” help?
The federal government is stepping forward with a plan that could help support this vital industry and hopefully put it back on track with an infusion of money that may be able to help. A bipartisan bill put forth by Senators Amy Klobuchar (a Democrat) and John Cornyn (a Republican), aims to bring aid to the independent entertainment, theater, and music venues that have been clobbered by the pandemic.
What is the Save Our Stages Act?
The Save Our Stages Act, also known as S.O.S, is a much-needed lifeline to live venues and, most importantly, Broadway during this time of shutdown. The $10 billion bill is aimed at keeping the lights on for the hardest hit venues. Without this financial support, after 9 months of stuttering, many live music and theater venues will be forced to close permanently.
To date, 144 U.S. Senators and Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation, which is aimed at providing relief to independent live venues, promoters, and festivals across the nation that have been shuttered with no revenue and high overhead since March with no timeline for reopening.
Currently, the bill, which is part of an overall COVID-19 stimulus package, is stalled in discussions. However, many insiders believe that the bill will soon gain momentum as more and more celebrities, music fans, and theater lovers get on board and pressure their congressional reps to take action.
Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat and New York City theater district representative, states that the money use will be flexible and will be “for whatever they need to stay in business, including paying key valued employees who we don’t want to just leave.”
Schumer urged all Americans to email their senators “and say we need you to support Save Our Stages.” He said if there’s no vaccine by next spring, he plans to push for renewing the bill, if it’s passed.