Sarah Jessica Parker is bringing attention to the crisis of New York’s theatre district.
In an essay for Variety titled, “We Must Save Broadway”, the “Sex and the City” star notes the economic and cultural impact of theatres being shuttered since the onset of COVID-19.
The actress looks back at 9/11, which also shut down Broadway for two days, comparing the tragedy to the current pandemic.
“Sept. 11 was unthinkable, but we could walk ourselves through the grief and, crucially, grieve collectively. Nothing before has stopped lives, jobs, and the economy like this. And the one thing I keep forcing myself to remember is that I can’t go to the theatre to get through it.”
Shining a light on the countless people who have been affected by the lengthy closures, Parker says, “New York especially needs theatre because so many New Yorkers need theatre — the thousands of people employed directly and indirectly by the industry, doing collateral work, from the servers at the surrounding restaurants to the people responsible for dry-cleaning costumes.”
Parker’s new play “Plaza Suite” was set to open on Broadway in April 2020. The cast were in tech rehearsals when they received news that they would need to halt production.
“We thought we’d be back in two weeks. We also assumed the government would step in: We couldn’t have known the economic and personal devastation for so many in the absence of action.”
While the Emmy winner writes that “opening theatres without masks seems much further away,” she encourages people to “come back to New York and reinvest in our community.”
Emphasizing the cultural importance of reopening Broadway, Parker adds, “Part of why I’m eager for its return is the sense of a cultural shift that was already underway and so necessary and important, with new voices, new points of view and new investment in the theatre from performers and the audiences.”