In 2019, Broadway theatres marked the highest grossing season of all time.

In 2020, over 100,000 Broadway jobs were halted and it nearly closed forever.

HOUSE LIGHTS UP is a 3-part documentary that highlights how the theatre had to navigate so many obstacles in the five years after this all-time high. From, the stories of individuals affected by the shutdown, to the costs of real estate, to the lag in tourism and the desire for safe theatre.

HOUSE LIGHTS UP follows the players who no matter the circumstances, kept the light shining in the theater.

Part I: The Longest Intermission
We introduce  Jeff Whiting and 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 and triumphed over,  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 last five years and asks how much has the industry and audiences changed? Who are the new players in the game and who was squeezed out? We will look at how the three major theatre organizations ,the Shubert, Nederlander, and the Jujamcyns, have each handled the restoration/rejuvenation and explore what they have done to move the industry forward.

Part III: The Future of America’s Theatre
Part III will explore the resilience of the theatre scene and how its quest to be a voice for our communities endure. In the last five years the theatre has experienced a massive shift from every angle. We will conclude the documentary by focusing on how issues such as diversity and inclusion on stage and behind the scenes are giving new voice to the theatre.This part will also explore how the Great White Way is facing competition for space with giant productions in play, and how real estate has shifted from a theatre-centric area to heavily-loaded corporate tourism franchises.

The Impact
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.

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