The reopening expenses are varied — a month of rehearsals to get actors, musicians, stagehands and others ready to perform again, as well as longer workshops for new cast members. Plus there are the costs of repairing and replacing equipment, transporting people and sets, hiring Covid safety personnel, and marketing the shows.
And the pandemic expenses, incurred throughout the shutdown, included financial assistance, health insurance coverage, and, in some cases, housing aid for those who had been employed by the productions at the time of the shutdown. Seller said “Hamilton” had continued to pay health insurance costs for all former employees throughout the pandemic, and had made emergency cash grants as well.
There were more mundane expenses as well, including $784,000 in rent for the show’s Broadway theater (yes, Broadway landlords continued to seek rent from producers during the pandemic), as well as warehouse storage for costumes, and flights for cast and crew who needed to get home when the touring stopped.
“‘Hamilton’ has spent many millions of dollars during a time in which it was earning no income,” Seller said. “Our goal is for ‘Hamilton’ to be in the same financial position it was in when we suspended operations on March 12, 2020.”
The rollout of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant initiative, a $16 billion federal aid program designed to help get cultural organizations back on their feet after the pandemic forced many to close, has been plagued by delays and confusion. But the Small Business Administration, which is administering the program, has begun announcing grant recipients, and there are indications that Broadway and its affiliated businesses could fare well.
As of Monday, the administration said that among the entities getting $10 million, which is the maximum available for a single grant, were two Broadway landlords, the Nederlander Organization, which controls nine Broadway theaters (one of which houses “Hamilton”), and Jujamcyn Theaters, which controls five, as well as the Roundabout Theater Company, a nonprofit that runs three Broadway houses. David Byrne’s Broadway show, “American Utopia,” was also among those getting $10 million.
Nederlander affiliates that run commercial theaters in Los Angeles and Chicago each got $10 million. Three Broadway touring productions managed by NETWorks were given grants — $10 million for “Fiddler on the Roof”; $9.8 million for “Waitress”; and $9 million for “The Band’s Visit.”