MANHATTAN — When will the lights turn back on for Broadway?
That’s still unclear, but what is known is that if the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress becomes law, there will be some relief on the way for workers in the arts and entertainment industry. Following this report on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he did not support the bipartisan bill.
If the bill does become law, will it save NYC’s stages?
“I’m so thankful ‘Save our Stages’ is included in the stimulus, I hope it’s gonna be distributed fairly and correctly,” Tom D’Angora told PIX11.
D’Angora has been a theatrical producer for 20 years and has had his hands on shows like “Newsical the Musical” and “Marvelous Wonderettes.”
Sadly, COVID-19 put an end to his off-Broadway show, “A Musical About Star Wars,” which was in production in the spring when Broadway went dark, closing theaters and silencing music halls.
“This year has been devastating,” he said. “From Broadway producers, off-Broadway, actors, backstage workers, costume, concession, ushers … it’s destroyed the industry and people need help badly.”
The $900 billion coronavirus relief package includes $15 billion to help them through the nearly year-long revenue drought.
While the kind of aid workers may qualify for varies, the stimulus for those struggling in the arts will also allow arts venues like music halls and movie theaters to apply for small business grants for their employees, rent and maintenance.
The Broadway League gave this statement to PIX11, that reads in part: “We are grateful for this bipartisan agreement which will provide immediate relief across our industry and a lifeline to the future.”
Broadway, which contributes $14.7 billion to the city’s economy and supports tens of thousands of locals jobs every year, was among the first industry in NYC to close completely in the spring and may likely be among the last to reopen in 2021.
Still, Broadway has a long way to go. Workers in the arts and entertainment industry are hoping they can slowly start to get back in swing of things in the summer.