At This Performance

New Documentary on the Understudies and Swings of Broadway to Be Released

At This Performance…Understudies and Swings: From Backstage to Center Stage is a new documentary that will follow the lives of swings and understudies on Broadway. The film, which began filming towards the end of 2021, will show a behind-the-scenes look inside their world as they navigate the difficult work of being a swing or understudy, all the while hearing unbelievable, funny, and sometimes frightening stories. “We want to show that an understudy is more than a slip of paper in a playbill,” says the team behind the documentary.

Originally supposed to be a fun piece mixed with some serious notes on theatre, that all changed in March of 2020 due to the first-ever closing of Broadway. While the role of an understudy or swing is vital to a show, it has only become more important with COVID-19 sweeping the world and understudies being there to save the day when a performer is unable to go on.

After remarks were made understating the important work of understudies, the Broadway community came together in support of understudies and swings. Hugh Jackman was among many of the voices coming out in support of these performers, giving an incredible speech at the end of the fourth preview of The Music Man, honoring the work of understudy Kathy Voytko, who covered the lead role of Marian Paroo after having her first rehearsal at 1 p.m. the day of the show.

Shining an even brighter light on the hard work done by these performers, At This Performance… will be bringing you stories from Broadway actors such as Jessica Vosk (Finding Neverland, Wicked), Kayla Davion (Waitress, King Kong, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical), Dana Steingold (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, Beetlejuice), Afra Hines (In The Heights, Ghost, Hamilton, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Hadestown), Matt Rosell (Les Miserables, Anastasia), Yassmin Alers (Rent, On Your Feet, Rocky Horror Show), and Kevin Raponey (Rock Of Ages) with more to be announced. The documentary, which is currently in production, is directed by Pete Ferriero and produced by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Tom Creatore, and Raymond Esposito.