Broadway Cares’ Red Buckets return to theatres October 21, launching a six-week fundraising campaign for Broadway Cares that continues through December 4.
Theatrical productions in New York City and across the country participate in the decades-long tradition of encouraging audience donations to help provide meals, medication, health care, counseling, and emergency financial assistance. With current COVID protocols, cast and crew members will not hold red buckets in lobbies after performances; instead, fully vaccinated (and masked) Broadway Cares staff and volunteers will welcome donations at theatre exits.
The two-day Red Bucket Follies performances, which typically celebrate the end of the fall fundraising efforts, will remain on hiatus until fall 2023. As New York productions continue to adjust their COVID protocols, safely bringing 300 performers, stage managers, musicians, and crew from across Broadway into a single space has been delayed until the spring Easter Bonnet Competition.
Kicking off the #RedBuckets appeals October 21 are Broadway's The Book of Mormon, Hamilton, The Lion King, MJ, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, and A Strange Loop plus Off-Broadway’s The Play That Goes Wrong. Joining them next week are Broadway’s 1776, Aladdin, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Into the Woods, The Music Man, The Phantom of the Opera, and Six. Additional Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring shows will join the fundraising in the coming weeks.
“The iconic Red Buckets have become a cherished and much valued tradition within the theatre community,” says Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola. “The enthusiasm from participating productions is an invigorating reminder that what we do together can make a difference. These important fundraising efforts and the generosity of donors help those in our community and across the country who are impacted by illness, unexpected challenges and urgent crises.”
The Red Bucket fundraising takes place twice a year during six weeks of fundraising in the spring and fall. The post-show audience appeals, absent from stages during the coronavirus pandemic and industry shutdown, returned last spring when 40 Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring productions took part.
Broadway Cares is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 Broadway Cares has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people with HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other critical illnesses across the United States.