Broadway Direct Highlights How Our Industry is Keeping Busy During COVID-19

April 30, 2020

Photo provided by Pixels Image

"How Broadway’s Crews and Creatives are Keeping Busy During COVID-19" by Elysa Gardner at Broadway Direct highlights the many ways those from across the industry are keeping busy during this pandemic. The article exemplifies how this time of uncertainty and job-loss for many has resulted in using industry resources creatively to make PPE, fund relief efforts, and more. An excerpt from the article is below. Click here to read the piece in full.

"The Broadway Green Alliance also participated in an Earth Day Initiative virtual celebration on April 19, lining up performers such as Beth Malone, James Snyder and the cast of Jagged Little Pill to 'join throughout the day, helping everyone stay centered and resilient,' Braverman says. And BGA collaborated with Hamilton alum Javier Muñoz and Open Jar Studios to establish the Broadway Relief Project, which involves members of the Broadway community in sewing personal protective equipment, particularly surgical gowns, for medical workers. 'It’s one of countless heartwarming initiatives,' says Braverman.

Sampliner offers another great example of people in the theater community coming together during the COVID blackout: Winzer Cleaners, 'which works with most of the shows on Broadway,' has been working with the wardrobe union and B&J Fabrics, another regular Broadway supplier, so that 'vans they normally use to pick up and deliver costumes are being used to pick up masks and gowns and bring them to hospitals.'

Tony Award-winning set designer Derek McLane, whose current projects include Moulin Rouge! and the upcoming MJ The Musical is using this time to improve his skills. Before developing a mild case of COVID-19 himself, McLane had begun to re-explore painting, an interest he’d dabbled in before. 'Painting is unrelated to set design, but I’d talked for years and years about doing it,' he says. 'The minute the theaters shut down, I asked myself, what is it that I’ve always said I’ve wanted to do?'

Since recovering, McLane has been juggling whatever work he’s able to do at home with everything from landscapes to portraits of his two cats. 'No one can tell them apart,' he quips. 'A lot of what I’m painting right now is just stuff that makes me happy. A lot of the set design I do is darker, but it’s such a dark, anxiety-ridden time as is.'"