Sandy Wreaks Havoc on and off Broadway, Actor’s Fund NY Office a Lifeline for Many

New Yorkers are famously resilient, despite even the most difficult challenges. They always bounce back.

People in entertainment and performing arts are just as tough. We all know it takes guts to survive the ups and downs of this business.

Electricity still hasn’t returned to much of lower Manhattan, so the Assembly Theater Project’s return engagement of the critically acclaimed home/sick cast will offer a “flashlight” reading of the play beginning at 8 PM. The reading, according to a show spokesperson, will be “by flashlight with some battery-powered sound.” The evening will be “pay-what-you-can” with all proceeds benefiting hurricane relief.

Tommy Tune, Carol Channing and Harry Kelejian have done much for the Actor’s Fund. So have people like you and I. After Sandy, the organization is proving to be a lifeline for actors on and off Broadway, in fact throughout the tristate theatre region which encompasses New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

We send a standing ovation to the theatre community as it struggles to re-open for business following Frankenstorm Sandy. But lots of our community are in big trouble, and are still impacted by the aftermath of the storm. They have a friend.

The Actors Fund has been there throughout the past 130 years, to celebrate the “ups,” and help our community during the “downs.”

Actors are noted for their resilience and creativity. But sometimes in real life, nature dishes out more than you asked for.

Case in point: Even though their website and NY Office number continue to be periodically affected by outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Actor’s Fund is open for business, and their staff is there to help during this very difficult time in the Tri-State region.

New York power company Consolidated Edison said Thursday it still had about 659,400 homes and businesses without power three days after monster storm Sandy slammed into the U.S. East Coast though it has restored power to more than 225,000 customers as of this posting.

Subways started running again in much of New York City on Thursday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy, but traffic at bridges backed up for miles, long lines formed at gas stations, and crowds of hundreds of people, some with short tempers, waited for buses.

The trains couldn’t take some New Yorkers where they needed to go. There was no service in downtown Manhattan and other hard-hit parts of the city, and people had to switch to buses.

Below 39th Street, theatres are dark. The Public Theatre’s website had this notice:”As of noon today, November 1, The Public Theater is still without power. The building remains closed, including the box office and administrative offices. Our online ticketing, email, and phone systems are down. The websites for Joe’s Pub and The Library at the Public are down as well.

“All Public Theater and Joe’s Pub shows for November 1 are canceled. A timeline for reopening and the status of performances after today are unknown at this time.”

At the Actor’s Fund, they’ve been receiving messages from people in need of emergency financial assistance, (you don’t get paid if you can’t perform in a a show that has been shut down) access to medical care and others who just want to help our community by making donations to assist those hurt most by the storm.

If your home or apartment was damaged in the storm and you don’t know who to contact for help; if you are without work or between gigs and have no steady income; if you are without medical insurance and in need of medical care; or if you simply are at risk with no friends or family to go to for emergency financial help – the entertainment and performing arts community can continue to reach out to them for assistance. That’s why The Actors Fund exists.

We ask you to please spread the word to friends and family who may not have internet access, and let them know The Fund is here to help:

PHONE NUMBERS FOR THE ACTORS FUND:

• New York Office: 917.281.5936
• The Actors Fund Work Program NYC: 212.354.5480
• Chicago & Central Region: 312.372.0989
• Los Angeles & Western Region: 323.933.9244
• Alternately, you can send a Direct Message on Twitter (@TheActorsFund) or a private message via Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheActorsFund) – all communication (including via DM and Private Message) is confidential. They’re checking our social networks regularly, and will relay your message to our social work staff to help get you the help you need.

Also, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic in NYC is open and operational! To find out about eligibility or to make an appointment, call 212.489.1939.

With so many artists looking for alternative space to teach, to rehearse and to hopefully produce their cancelled shows… www.NYCPASpaces.org is a great resource for folks who don’t know where to start in finding alternative space. They emailed that “unfortunately we don’t have up to date status of which venues are open for business. I’m doing the best I can on twitter and emailing venues to know who is open and who needs help. But we can sure save people a lot of time by making it easy to look for alternatives in the areas of NYC that they know have power and transport.”

And STAY TUNED: They’re compiling a list of additional organizations that will be helping everyone throughout the post-Sandy recovery. They will post that info on their website and Facebook pages soon.

If you’re not in the region and would like to help (or if you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been affected by the storm), please consider a donation, which will help us support people in need as Sandy’s aftermath unfolds – many won’t be able to make ends meet in the coming weeks, while others will need help repairing their homes or paying for medications and food. Until their website is back up and running, you can call any of our main numbers to donate: 917.281.5936 (NYC), 312.372.0989 (Chicago) or 323.933.9244 (LA).

Our amazing entertainment community is always there to support each other – and we should all thank those incredible donors who make our work possible.

Whether you find yourself alone and in need of help, or when you are back on the boards tonight at 8 pm – remember The Actors Fund is there for you. For everyone.

Now on with the show!

Examples of Theatre Companies Experiencing Delays:

NEW YORK, November 1 — “Cabaret Émigré” by Sophia Romma, originally scheduled for November 2 to 18, will now open November 7 and will add performances November 11, 13 and 14 to make up for lost shows due to Hurricane Sandy. This new play, directed by Charles Weldon, is being presented by Negro Ensemble Company at the Lion Theater, Theater Row.

NEW YORK, November 2 — The National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene is postponing the official press opening of “The Golden Land,” until Thursday November 8 at 7:30pm, due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The mostly English-language musical that was a groundbreaker when it premiered Off-Broadway in 1985 for incorporating Yiddish and English period music into its original score, began previews on Sunday October 28 at 2pm. It has since been forced to cancel all of its preview performances including tomorrow’s Thursday shows, due to the continuing electrical problems in the area of the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Avenue. The show’s five-week engagement is still scheduled to run through December 2.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s