It's Only Intermission

What’s felt like 525,600 minutes since the curtains closed on Broadway has been, in reality, seven months since the shutdown. With the Broadway hiatus now extending through May 2021, more than a year will pass with the lights down on the performing arts industry. Theater serves as an escape from the stress of reality for millions of people across the world, so it’s quite disheartening to know that we have at least eight more months without the performing arts. 

The coronavirus pandemic has created an overwhelming sense of anxiety and uncertainty for our country. Live theater has the power to unify audiences and calm any anxieties an audience member may have for a few hours as they are transported into a different world. Our country needs Broadway now more than ever. Actress Desi Oakley said in an Instagram post Sunday morning, “No one deserves a world where Broadway doesn’t exist.” And I couldn’t agree with her more.

  1. 1. Desi Oakley's Instagram

    Instagram Post of Desi Oakely (@desioakley) featuring (@iamandyhjones)

The Broadway community hasn’t let a pandemic stop the magic of storytelling and healing from continuing, however. The early Disney+ release of “Hamilton” can attest to that. For just $6.99 a month, millions around the world have unlimited access to the most sought-after ticket on Broadway. As much as I was willing to Wait for It, the expedited release brought joy to many, including myself. This joy was much needed, given our current state of living in a pandemic. 

Thanks to modern technology, we are able to stay connected with one another while doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. The theater and performing arts industry has capitalized on this unique opportunity by hosting livestream events featuring cast reunions, Q&As with Broadway professionals, master classes, and so much more. Having downtime is new territory for Broadway stars who are used to doing eight shows a week, but these actors remain committed to bringing hope and comfort to many in such a bleak time in our nation’s history. 

In times of so many unknowns and what-ifs, I am proud to be a fan of the Broadway community. The industry has become so innovative in the ways they are bringing euphoria and glimmers of hope to many over these past seven months. Broadway has taken a lot of hits (especially financially) since March, but what remains is the love and commitment within the community that cannot be dismantled by any pandemic.