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BCEFA Red Buckets

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ Red Bucket Fundraising Returns to Broadway

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ traditional in-theater red bucket fundraising makes its long-awaited return this spring! Now through May 1, companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national touring shows will resume their decades-long tradition of encouraging audience donations that help provide nutritious meals, medication, health care, counseling, and emergency financial assistance.

Over the next six weeks, the Broadway companies of Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Come From Away, Company, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, The Music Man, The Phantom of the Opera, SIX, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, and Wicked and the Off-Broadway productions of Jersey Boys, Little Shop of Horrorsand The Play That Goes Wrong will join the in-theater fundraising efforts. Additional shows will be announced on the Broadway Cares social channels in the coming weeks.

Although in-theater appeals are back, the two-day Easter Bonnet Competition performance, which typically celebrates the end of the spring fundraising efforts, will remain on hiatus until April 2023.

This spring campaign marks the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that most productions will share post-show appeals during their curtain calls from theater stages. Although Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS put red bucket appeals on hiatus last fall, four Broadway shows – Girl from the North CountrySIXThoughts of a Colored Man, and Wicked – graciously made audience appeals after their performances in November and December. The Eliza and And Peggy national tours of Hamilton also joined in the scaled-down fundraising. These efforts helped lay the groundwork for the wider return this spring of safe and efficient in-person appeals.

“As Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring shows have returned to their theaters, it has been our utmost priority to respect the work it takes to get these productions up and running,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “Delaying the return of the Easter Bonnet Competition performances until next year allows shows to step back first into fundraising efforts while maintaining their current safety protocols. This tiered approach – a trial run of appeals last fall followed by a full season of appeals this spring – will allow productions to enthusiastically join us this fall in both our fundraising and in the return of the celebratory Red Bucket Follies performances, which will lift the roof of the New Amsterdam Theatre on December 5 and 6.”

Despite the full two-year-long in-theater fundraising pause brought about by the pandemic, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ grant-making has continued in earnest. Since March 2020, Broadway Cares has awarded $35 million in grants to The Actors Fund and 450 other social service organizations across the country. In February 2022, Broadway Cares provided a record $2.5 million in grants to 127 food service and meal delivery programs nationwide, the first round of this year’s national grants.