That's not just a word to the Broadway theatrical community. For the second time in this decade, we have felt it and lived it. And each time that solidarity is tested, we become stronger for it, individually and as a community. You, the Producer, do this. We rediscover that part of the human spirit that we have been alienated from, the power of the group, the tribe, the union. This is a sense that can only be found during times of mutual trial.
Today started with a sense of solemn commitment. We were beginning a course of action that was not one we chose but rather one that was forced upon us. There were no cheers when the crews walked out of their theatres. There were no cheers when those out on the street refused to pick up their tools and instead picked up picket signs. We had to break our first commandment, “the show must go on.”
It was a trial. As a group, we had to call on those skills most commonly found inside of the theatre, not outside of one. We had to organize ourselves into action, with an aim and a goal. The groundwork had been laid and we had been given our new tools but we had to learn how to really use them. Some started to walk right away and some defiantly stood their ground. Through the long morning and afternoon some of us discovered we had not dressed warmly enough. All of us have worked in the cold, the heat, and the rain so weather is not something we are unaccustomed to. We just need to be prepared. Some of use got foot weary. All of us have spent hours upon hours on our feet, in grids, on trucks, on studio floors. This not something we are unaccustomed to. We just need to be prepared. Now we know what to expect. It will be like any long load-in, hour upon hour on our feet, in the cold. This not something we are unaccustomed to.
The late afternoon was the hardest. We were alone on the line. We were tired, cold, sore and determined.
Then they started to arrive. The other members of our theatrical community joined us on the line and spirits lifted. Where there were a few determined people trudging along, now there were many. Now there was cheering when passing cars honked in support. Matrons of a certain age, union members for decades, carried signs and smiled. House Managers, Box Office Personnel, Chorus Members, Dancers, Actors, Musicians, union members all, walked and carried signs in support of our common struggle. And we did what we knew best. We had a big finish.
You have united us as a community.
We will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. This not something we are unaccustomed to. We’ve put your shows on. We have worked long hours and not seen home but briefly, for weeks at a time. Sacrifices come with the entrance into this community. Sacrifices you now seem to be unaware of but we know intimately. And now that common strength is united against you and we will not fail.
We will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.