Broadway Still Cares: 'Tis the Season for Curtain-Call Appeals
By Tom Viola
26 Nov 2012
Spider-Man cast members collect donations
Actors take time backstage to autograph show posters and Playbills, which are sold in exchange for a donation. Company members also meet and take photos with generous supporters after the show.
Companies often create unique items to help in their fundraising efforts. Mary Poppins has offered a "practically perfect" cookbook and The Lion King often has hand-beaded ornaments made in South Africa through a donation-funded work program for HIV-positive women.
Last year, audience appeals periods raised an important two-thirds of the more than $9.3 million distributed by Broadway Cares. That money goes to more than 500 AIDS and family service organizations around the country and The Actors Fund, the employee assistance program of the entertainment industry whose vital programs include the HIV/AIDS Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.
Each appeal is truly a company effort. Hundreds of talented and generous theatre Professionals — including theatre owners, producers, stage managers, crew members, musicians, wardrobe, hair personnel, house managers, ushers and, of course, the actors — make this vital fundraising possible. The culmination of these efforts will bring the theatre community together Dec. 3-4 at the New Amsterdam Theatre for the 24th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition.
The generosity of spirit shown onstage, backstage and from audiences throughout Broadway is BC/EFA's greatest blessing. It is a rare and invaluable resource that continues to prove, show by show, season after season, that what we do together makes a difference.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS announced Nov. 2 that a portion of proceeds currently being raised by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies during the six-week fall fundraising efforts will be donated to three relief agencies committed to helping victims of Hurricane Sandy. Read more about that here.