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Broadway closure hurts actors and theater workers

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NEW YORK (CNN) – The pandemic has turned off the lights on Broadway and no production is scheduled at the moment until next May.

Beyond the impact on tourism in New York City, the shutdown is a crisis for the nearly 100,000 people who depend on Broadway shows for a living. Many fear that their work in the theater will disappear for good.

It has been very difficult for Broadway, said Bernadette Peters, one of Broadway’s most revered stars, with decades of Tony’s winning performances. Today, she turns her spotlight on her Broadway colleagues.

I’m concerned about the people who were living on that salary, coming into town and living on that salary to pay their rent, to buy their groceries, said Peters.

This unique theater district brings New York $ 15 billion each year.

Everyone in the show becomes a small community, a small family, from the ushers to the people selling the tickets to the people cleaning. They were all part of it. Peters said.

Laura Prather, a stagehand turns on the lights, on Broadway. We have a saying – We turn on every light every night, she said.

She never thought it was he who had been tasked with putting out a marquee at the American Airlines Theater.

It was the craziest times to ask myself, “Are we going to be able to come back?” Said Prather.

She moved from Saint-Louis four years ago, buying a house. His savings will only last him six months.

My 15 year career in this field practically disappeared overnight. Said Prather.

She makes plans: Uh, maybe get a job in a completely different field. The possibility of a longer-term worst-case scenario sells my place.

The worst-case scenario has come true for actress Morgan Ashley Bryant. Shes one of more than 50,000 people working in theaters across the United States now without a job.

Many local theaters are hanging on to a thread without federal assistance. Bryants’ role on the Mean Girls nationwide tour is just a dream come true.

It’s not financially prudent for me to stay in town for an extended period of time with no idea when I’m going to be able to return to work, Bryant said. I’m going to go home to Alabama.

The financial pain was great, but the emotional pain of not being able to perform was greater.

Peters, who has been through the ups and downs of a long career, has a little advice: if you have to go home and then come back, come back. You know, don’t give up on your dream. Your dream is your dream. It’s the most important thing you have. You have to see it through.

The Actors’ Equity Association has urged lawmakers to include arts funding and loans to help those working in the performing arts.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Opera in New York has said it will skip its entire season for the first time in its 140-year history. The Met have said they hope to return next September.

Copyright 2020 CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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