On August 20, stars of stage and screen will gather for the sixth annual Covenant House Sleep Out: Stage & Screen in support of homeless youth.
Each year, 4.2 million young people experience homelessness; Covenant House is a national organization that provides educational programming, job training and placement, medical services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, legal aid, and shelter to homeless youth in 31 cities across six countries.
About six years ago, Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block and Broadway veteran Capathia Jenkins—the latter a board member of Covenant House—launched the first annual Broadway Sleep Out, where members of the theatre community gathered for an evening at the Midtown Covenant House for workshops with the young residents and to sleep outside in solidarity. Participants set fundraising goals and raise money in support of their Sleep Out. (Click here to donate.)
This year, stars of stage and screen will participate, including Jenkins, Emmy nominee Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald (Shuffle Along...), Tony nominee Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman), Jason Ralph (Peter and the Starcatcher), Darius de Haas (Shuffle Along), Caissie Levy (Frozen), Tony-nominated director Jeff Calhoun (Newsies), Molly Quinn, Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton (The Great Comet), Angela Grovey (Escape to Margaritaville), Michael McElroy (Broadway Inspirational Voices), Rita Harvey (Fiddler on the Roof), Rachel Sussman (NYMF), producer Diana DiMenna (The Iceman Cometh), Michael Zegen (A View From the Bridge), and more.
To date, the stars have raised over $337,000 to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, educational and vocational training, and housing to youth overcoming homelessness at Covenant House.
“I’ve slept out multiple times with Covenant House, and each time has been a life-changing experience, a unique way to get to know some of these brave young people overcoming homelessness,” Brosnahan, who recently joined the International Board of Directors at Covenant House, said in a statement. She has raised over $30,000 this year with her Marvelous Mrs. Maisel team.
“Every person who sleeps out gets the opportunity to meet some of the Covenant House kids, so homeless youth are no longer the distant, camouflaged strangers we too often pass on the streets,” said McDonald, who also serves on the International Board of Directors. “I am not under the delusion that one night on the street is anything like what homeless kids endure. But the kids at Covenant House know that too; they get it. Each time I’ve slept out, I’ve found that the young people at Covenant House are genuinely touched that anyone would take even one night out of their lives to care, and that is what this Sleep Out movement is all about. It is a life-changing, life-affirming event.” To date, McDonald has raised over $13,000 for this year’s Sleep Out.
For more information about Covenant House, visit CovenantHouse.org.
Take a look back at the 2017 Sleep Out:
Go Inside the 2017 Broadway Sleep Out at the Covenant House
This article was updated from its original publication date July 26, 2018.