March #142 : Stage Fright - by Nicole Joseph

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March 2008


Stage Fright

by Nicole Joseph

A Broadway strike muzzles HIV fund-raising efforts.

When the curtains lifted this past November after Broadway’s stagehand strike, theater folk got right to work. And Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), which raises money for hundreds of AIDS service organizations around the country, was dying for the spotlight. The strike hit BC/EFA in the middle of its annual post-show audience fund-raising appeals. At press time, the organization still hadn’t fully calculated the strike’s loss to its campaigns. But over the past few years, actors shaking donation cans after shows have raised between $300,000 and $350,000 per week.

The agency did recoup some losses. Many Off Broadway and Broadway shows unaffected by the strike pulled double duty during it. And the striking union asked its members to support BC/EFA. “It really is indicative of how generous the Broadway community has been with us for nearly 20 years,” says Tom Viola, BC/EFA’s executive director. Take a bow.                                      


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