Broadway Star Gives Teen Actors A Global Stage Amid Pandemic
How this Tony Award-winning actress is using her platform to help high school actors whose musicals have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
You've undoubtedly heard the expression "the show must go on." For those of us in the theater community, that is something of a rallying cry. As an actor, I've performed through sickness and injury - I've even had to learn a new role in 5 days for a show that had already opened.
However, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, theaters across the nation are shutting down their productions (often at financial and personal cost0 to keep our country safe. And it's not just professional companies that are feeling the loss. High school performers across the nation who had put their hearts and souls into preparing their spring musicals are being forced to cancel their shows too. Hours upon hours of rehearsals spent learning songs and lines and choreography - all gone.
Stages around the globe are forced to shut their doors during the pandemic.
The show must go on though, yes? Thanks to Broadway superstar Laura Benanti, these students will still have an audience and an outlet for all their hard work. The Tony Award-winner posted on her Instagram page, telling students across the nation "If you were meant to perform in your high school musical and it was cancelled please post yourself singing and tag me. I want to be your audience!!"
She encouraged students to post videos of themselves singing and to use the hashtag #SunshineSongs. Over 1,000 posts have already been created using that hashtag. In one video, the cast of Mama Mia! at Oliver Ames High School in Massachusetts issued a greeting to Benanti and their nearly 10,000 viewers by saying "thank you so much, we love you!" before breaking into the title song, Mama Mia!
So if you're currently working from home or trying to avoid going out, check it out. There are plenty of performances by some incredibly talented students to help brighten your day!