“There must be a show!” Broadway Rising, a full-length documentary directed by Amy Rice, now has an official trailer. The trailer gives an idea of how the COVID-19 shutdown affected Broadway when all shows had to close and how businesses worked hard to get back on stage.
The new documentary’s trailer shows the effects of a shutdown on Broadway that no one thought would ever happen. Right away, viewers see how people, like Ginna Claire Mason, who played Glinda in Wicked, have a deep connection to Broadway.
— BroadwayWorld (@BroadwayWorld) November 5, 2022
Before the lights go out, Mason says, “If you do something eight times a week, it’s like your whole life is a play.” No one could have imagined that Broadway would ever close. As one person in the film says, “cancelling a show is unheard of.”
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, theaters were closed on March 12, 2020, after a part-time usher tested positive for the virus. “I spent a week in the hospital. John Kristiansen, a Broadway costume designer in New York, says in the trailer, “By the time I got out of that, my business was closed and my industry was gone.”
His story is soon followed by glimpses of other men and women who have lost their businesses and jobs because of the shutdown. Over 96,000 people lost their jobs in the industry as a whole, including directors, painters, cleaners, artisans, prop masters, ushers, doormen, and embroiderers.
“What do you want us to do? One voice in the trailer says, “We’ve been trying to keep the doors open until Broadway comes back.”
The documentary will also show how hard the industry works to give back to its customers. The trailer shows that getting back to the stage for the opening night of September 14, 2021, was only possible with everyone’s hard work because they were given less time and had to spend money they didn’t have.
“It doesn’t feel good, but someone has to do it,” says Kevin McCollum, a theater producer who has won a Tony Award. In fact, we see some of the production staff celebrating the reopening of Broadway, which was only possible because of their hard work.
The 93-minute long feature documentary is directed by Rice and will include stories from Mason, McCollum, Kristiansen, Jewelle Blackman, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Adam Perry, Robbie Fairchild, Lynn Nottage, Brian Blythe, T. Oliver Reid, and Tom Kirdahy.
Tony Award winners Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) and Justin Mikita (Oklahoma!) are producers for A Kid Named Beckett Productions, along with Sam Bisbee (Park Pictures), Christopher Cowan (STATION 10), and Rice (World of Ha and XTR). The movie will come out in December of this year, after the feature documentary has its world premiere on June 13 at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.
On December 5, 2022, Broadway Rising will open in theaters. Watch the trailer for the movie below: