September 17, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Broadway’s Biggest Reopening Yet

A major welcome home is due for the companies of Wicked, Hamilton, The Lion King, Chicago, and Lackawanna Blues as they reopen for the first time since March 2020. Make sure you get yourselves to these shows and continue to support live theater! 

Read more: www.playbill.com 

2 – Drama League Songwriting Contest

Calling all songwriters! Here’s your chance to be a part of history with The Drama League. Find out all contest rules, regulations, and prizes below. Not a songwriter? Share this blog with a theatermaker in your life who is!

Read more: www.playbill.com 

3 – Experimenting with Is This A Room, Dana H, and PassOver

Us theatermakers know that Broadway has always been the place for creative experimentation. And that’s not stopping any time soon! Get inspired by how Pass Over, Is This a Room, and Dana H are continuing to move that experimentation forward this season.

Read more: www.nytimes.com  

4 – Digital Theater 

There’s no denying that digital theater had a major jump start during the pandemic. From TikTok, Clubhouse, Zoom, there is an avenue for almost any production you can imagine. And its legacy is just beginning. Have you created digital theater before? 

Read more: www.insider.com  

5 – Non-profit Vax Req Database

Not in NYC but want to keep up with COVID-regulations in the arts? Stay up to date with the policies across all arts organizations below so you can plan your trips to the theater accordingly. 

Read more: www.artshacker.com 

Fun on a Friday: 

Watch Lin-Manuel Miranda give the curtain speech at the first Broadway performance of Hamilton in over a year and a half (and grab some tissues while you’re at it!). 

Watch the video here:

 

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Farewell To The Leader and Legend, Liz McCann (1931-2021)

What we forget about the theater, and especially Broadway, is that it’s not that old of an industry.

And the people who built it are still among us.

Sadly, we lost one of the pioneering leaders that made the theater a better place for audiences, artists, and for other people just like her.

Liz McCann, winner of 9 Tony Awards, and one of the first female Producers on the boards, passed away yesterday.

She was a producing giant. Starting her career as a production assistant and working her way into rooms where people told her she didn’t below. And then proving to them and to the world, that not only did she below, but she deserved to rule the room.

Her IBDB page reads like a menu at a diner . . . it goes on and on. From The Dresser to Indecent to A View From The Bridge and her many plays with Albee . . . she forever changed the theater with who and what she supported.

I never worked with her directly. And we weren’t close by any means. But that didn’t stop her from sending me an encouraging email now and then. Especially when things weren’t going well.

When we announced the premature closure of Gettin’ The Band Back Together, I got this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was as if she was saying, “Hey – you did good. It happens to all of us. Some shows will work.  Some shows won’t. It has happened to me 100 times. Keep going.”

And I remember exactly where I was when I got that email. And it was like a steroid shot to my day . . . and was one of the many ways Liz and her incredible career has inspired me to, well, keep going.

I can only hope that one day I have 10% of the impact that Liz did on the theater.

Rest in Peace, dear Liz.

But something tells me you’re not resting at all . . . something tells me you’re ruling that room up there as well.

As you should.
To read more about Liz’s career, read her NY Times obituary here.

[ANNOUNCEMENT] Applications now open for our 2nd Annual Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund Scholarship for TheaterMakers!

I can’t believe it.

It has already been a year and a half since my Dad passed.

It has been hard to say the least, but, I also have to tell you . . . since he left us on Easter Sunday in 2020, my Dad has had an Obi-wan Kenobi-like effect on me. I can feel him encouraging me . . . and encouraging others . . . even more so now than ever. And I look forward to finding more ways to honor his passion for the arts, our heritage, and the loving way he challenged me.  

And I’m proud to say that one of the ways he continues to encourage is through the charity that I started on his behalf . . . The Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund!  

In addition to the three grants we gave this year for his scholarship with that outstanding org, The EdTA, we also gave away two grants right here on this blog last year to Marelisse Navarro-Sanabria and Germono Toussaint.  

And it’s time to give away two more!  

Yep, the applications are now open for our 2nd Annual Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund Scholarships.

And like last year, we’re giving away $1,000 to two theatermakers:

  1. An applicant currently enrolled in or going to postsecondary school pursuing a career in the theater industry.
  2. An applicant residing in NYC, pursuing a career in the theater industry who has or is facing challenges continuing to make theater, as a result of the pandemic. (Not required to be a student).

More details for the scholarship are on the application page which is accepting applications NOW. We will close the application process on 9/30. We will announce the winners on 10/31.

Apply here.

Oh, and what I have learned in only one year of doing this, is that it’s hard to get the word out to the folks who could use these funds the most. So please, share this blog and post with others.  

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The Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization, started in honor of my late father, Dr. Kenny Dipchand Hasija, who immigrated here from India in the 60s and encouraged me, his only son, not to follow in his footsteps . . . but to pursue a life in the theater.

This fund aims to carry on his tradition of unconditional support and encouragement of pursuing one’s passions in life, and pay tribute to his love of theater. The organization will seek to provide financial support to students of the arts and theatermakers who demonstrate genuine need, and an embodiment of the spirit of Dr. Kenny. Each year the fund will contribute to activities such as awarding scholarships, distributing relief funds, and donating to individual artists and arts organizations, especially those from unrepresented or marginalized communities.

We are thankful for those who help us in our mission. If you’d like to contribute to the Fund, allowing us to expand the work we do, click here

Have You Seen The New Broadway Marketing Campaign.

If you are unsure of what Broadway is?

THIS. IS. BROADWAY.

That tagline, and the film below, is the foundation for the new marketing campaign for the return of Broadway.

It was put together by The Broadway League and about 1,983 of Broadway’s best, on stage and off. Even Oprah! (Seriously. Oprah. She’s in the video.)

I dare you not to get goosebumps when you watch. (And when you do . . . play “I spy one of Ken’s shows!”)

Watch it.

Then let me know what you think in the comments below.

And then go buy a ticket. You know you want to.

www.ThisIsBroadway.org

Podcast Episode #248: Broadway’s Advantage To Its Comeback

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS EPISODE: 9 Minutes

 

LISTEN WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS:

 

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

This shutdown has lasted longer than we thought possible.

And while we’re (slowly) reopening now, a year and a half later, there are real reasons why our leadership waited.

Listen to this 8-minute episode to find out what our advantage is to reopening.

 

AFTER YOU LISTEN:

  • FOLLOW The Producer’s Perspective on Apple Podcast (it’s FREE!)
  • REVIEW the Podcast on Apple Podcast (it’s the biggest compliment you can give)
  • SHARE this episode with your friends!
  • JOIN the TheaterMakers Facebook Group

 

My mission is to get more people talking about the theater.  The more people talking about it, the more people who want to make it, perform it, support it, etc.  And that’s how theater not only survives, but thrives.

 

The biggest compliment you can give me is by sharing this podcast.

 

I thank you and the theater thanks you!

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