TONY Awards, Charity, Giving Back, and YOU

Last night were the TONY Awards for excellence in theater, and the results always cause an uptick in Broadway tourism and ticket sales on the Great White Way. Those shows that scored statuettes will become more popular and sell many more tickets, while those that missed the accolades and awards will have fretting producers counting every box office penny and perhaps reconsidering closing dates. Theater is a remarkably expensive and never very lucrative endeavor, so every penny coming in can make the difference for the number of performances remaining in a show’s run. But what of the pennies going out? The theater community is also remarkably generous and philanthropic, even the most desperately struggling and starving-est of artists finds a way to free up a few scheckels for his or her chosen charity. Productions take on dedicated charity nights and special appearances for fundraising events, producers bankroll non-profit organizations, and creative staff, from those on the boards to those behind the scenes, give with free hearts.

The entire theater community rallies behind Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, mobilizing the entertainment industry to support and bolster those facing critical health issues (not exclusively limited to HIV/AIDS). It funds the social service work of The Actors Fund, and has a roster full to bursting with amazing events throughout the year. The dollars and SENSE raised by BC/EFA has moved the fight for health forward in countless ways.

You can get involved with this charitable endeavor by volunteering for events and rubbing elbows with those big stars after they’ve Albolened away the greasepaint and re-hung the costumes (to air out–it gets sweaty up there under the lights!)…and you can also make your ticket price dollars (and what prices they are!) go toward good causes by buying seats through programs like Givenik (a percentage of your ticket price goes to your choice of dozens of charities in diverse categories), or Tickets for Charity (also supporting great causes through ticket sales for music and sporting events). No matter when you go to the theater, and please do, in New York and in your home town and anywhere else you can support the arts, find the spirit of generosity that is so on display from those you’ve come to watch…and get involved.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you for spreading the word! What a terrific blog post about how these amazing charities can be supported in various ways.


    • Posted by Andrew Mersmann on June 12, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      Thank YOU–great biz model–hope it works for everyone even better than you imagined!


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