Congress Agrees on $15 Billion Save Our Stages Bill As Part of Stimulus Plan. 2020 Summed Up. #Stageworthy News

Congressional leaders announced an agreement on a nearly $900 billion stimulus package on Sunday that includes some $15 billion for theaters and other cultural venues in the Save Our Stages bill.  The final votes are expected on Monday, after which the bill will go to President Trump for signing.

In a later Tweet, the all-volunteer ad hoc arts advocacy organization added: “There is so much more needed. 2.7 million Arts Workers who have been unemployed for nine months need so much more than the $600 “stimulus” or the meager $300 in expanded unemployment benefits. We absolutely must do more under President Biden.”

Still, the agreement, if signed into law, signals a promising finale in a year full of misery for everybody, including the theater community.  There were some other bright spots throughout the year:

Theater Heroes of 2020

20 Favorite New York Stage Performances in 2020

My Vision of 2020 in Hindsight: 7 Trends in Theater Revisited

The Week in Theater Reviews and Previews

I Am Sending You The Sacred Face 

A solo musical about Mother Teresa performed by a man in drag inside a closet? This may sound like an irreverent campy nun musical boosted to greater sacrilege because she is now officially Saint Teresa of Calcutta. And did I mention the drag performer lip-syncs?
But “I Am Sending You The Sacred Face,” the latest inventive theater from director-performer Joshua William Gelb’s Theater in Quarantine, is actually something much closer to reverent.

Estella Scrooge Review: A Christmas Carol that twists like the Dickens

How do you make your “A Christmas Carol” so different that it stands out in a season piled high with streaming versions of Dickens’ heartwarming tale?

That seems to be the main aim of Streaming Musicals’ “Estella Scrooge,” with a cast of Broadway stars, a fresh score by Paul Gordon,  pandemic-era technical innovation, and some barbed satire that speaks to the present moment. Yet the result, to paraphrase Dickens, is the best of tries, and the worst of tries.


Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce Pandemic! 

In its use of snark and camp and raunch and bleak reality, in an apparent campaign to deny the false cheer of the holidays,  it is also insisting that the holidays belong to everybody.  Doesn’t that sound like holiday spirit?

Holiday Shows 2020 Guide: All the Nutcrackers, A Christmas Carols and Other Annual Traditions You Love, This Year Online

The Week in Theater News

New York City cultural groups are awarded more than $47 Million in grants

“The grants include $12.6 million in new investments, nearly $10 million of which is designated for coronavirus pandemic relief and arts education initiatives. Funding will increase over the prior year for grantees, including larger increases for smaller organizations,” the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs said.

(Put in folder labeled “That was then.”)
A study by Theatre Communications Group
shows that U.S. nonprofit theatres were in relatively good financial shape in the year between Oct. 2018 and Sept. 2019.

Broadway Licensing, a company founded by Sean Cercone in 2017, has bought Dramatists Play Services, a company founded in 1936, which controls licensing rights to plays by many prominent playwrights, including Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Edward Albee, as well as living playwrights David Henry Hwang, Suzan-Lori Parks, Matthew Lopez, Lynn Nottage, Paula Vogel, and Tracy Letts.  The move was partly inspired by the challenges facing the theater business posed by the pandemic, according to Variety.

5 ways the pandemic will transform the live theater industry, by Michael Barra, the CEO of Lively McCabe Entertainment, in Fortune:

Broadway programming will shift its focus
Viable alternatives to New York and London will emerge
The ‘creative class’ will migrate
Theater content will increasingly appear on screens—big and small
Performers’ unions will consolidate

“Not Writing” by playwright Clare Barron (Dance Nation), which she hasn’t done for four years.

“Our need for success makes taking breaks really scary. Our obsession with young success makes people go crazy and feel less valuable as they get older.
We have to fight both of these things.”

Rest in Peace

Ann Reinking, 71, Mourned

There Was Only One Ann Reinking by Sylviane Gold in Dance Magazine

Looking at the online videos, I find myself repeatedly zeroing in on Reinking’s arms—those eloquent, mobile shoulders; the jazz hands; the flamenco fingers; the ballet wrists. How could they all be there in one dancer, making perfect sense?

Week in Theater Videos

Georgia on My Mind

Make Them Hear You, from Ragtime

Jagged Live: That I Would Be Good

Nutcracker in Central Park

A Christmas Carol as Shadow Puppetry

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

Leave a Reply