Theatres may be dark but Broadway is still shining. With the pandemic, the theatre industry faced a sudden shutdown, halting the livelihoods of the professionals who bring it to life night after night. Five months into the crisis, the Ensemblist reunited the Broadway community in Times Square in a moving message of Broadway resilience and the needs of its artists.
“When I think about iconic moments in the Broadway community, the theatre’s September 11th tribute comes to mind. Originally taken after a national crisis, dozens of theatre actors gathered in the middle of Times Square to show the world that Broadway, and New York City in general, was standing strong. Now, 20 years later, our nation is facing a very different kind of crisis. This time, Broadway is nowhere near open for business but holding on,” the Ensemblist’s Mo Brady explained.
“Along with photographers Michaelah Reynolds and Mati Ficara, nearly 70 theatre professionals gathered in Times Square to create a 2020 version of this iconic photograph. Wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines, the image paints a very different picture of how actors are able to respond to a crisis.
“New York theatre artists are in dire need of support. Our industry is both a calling card and a major revenue stream for 'the greatest city in the world.' But it is also an industry with almost 100 percent unemployment centered in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Without continued financial support for artists during this pandemic, our community will not survive. Theatre is, and always has been, a collaborative effort and right now, it needs your voice.
"What was remarkable about this photoshoot is how empowering it was for the performers. Even during a summer storm, dozens of performers donned face masks and braved the elements to travel to Times Square. At the time when we are not able to share our faces on stage, we can still come together to affect change for our community."