In the 2018-2019 season, Broadway theatres marked the highest grossing season of all time. In 2020, over 100,000 Broadway jobs were halted due to the pandemic.
HOUSE LIGHTS UP is a 3-part documentary that highlights the stories of individuals affected by the shutdown and follows them as they rebuild their careers, businesses, and their theatres in the wake of a pandemic that rocked every corner of the globe.
Part I: The Longest Intermission
We introduce Open Jar Studios, Broadway’s largest rehearsal studio and learn how this space endured the pandemic and continues to lead the community through theatre’s ever-changing shifts. Part I will also explore how the theatre has endured the dark days of the AIDS epidemic, 9/11 and the Great Depression.
Part II: The Show Must Go On
As we enter a stage of normalcy and the theatre roars on, seats are filling up and productions are prospering from small companies to big houses. But is theatre smarter? The shutdown has changed the once hugely successful market. Part II takes a hard look at what was lost in the pandemic, and asks how much the industry has changed.
Part III: The Future of America’s Theatre
Part Three will explore the resilience of the theatre scene and how its quest to be a voice for the community endures. The pandemic shifted the focus of theatre in many ways, including how we view diversity and inclusion, both on stage, and in the theatre seats. This part will also explore how the Great White Way is facing competition for space and how Real Estate has shifted post pandemic.
The sudden closure of The Great White Way had a $15 billion effect on the city’s economy. HOUSE LIGHTS UP will challenge audiences to engage in thinking about the social, cultural, or policy change goals that will protect the future of the arts in the US.
Support the Arts
According to the Americans for the Arts, “Arts strengthen the economy. The nation’s arts and culture sector is a $919.7 Billion industry that supports 5.2 million jobs. That is 4.3% of the entire US economy.” Supporting pieces like HOUSE LIGHTS UP are vital to increasing awareness that the arts are essential to the health and welfare to all who contribute to the theatre.