Could you share the story about how this live stream benefit digital concert idea came about and was realized?
Jack: Viva Broadway; Hear Our Voices was originally conceived as a live stage concert for The Broadway League and its Viva Broadway program by Tony-winner Sergio Trujillo. It was a benefit concert celebrating the past, present, and future of Latinx theatre, in support of their Broadway Bridges education program. The Broadway League was the presenting producer and I was the creative producer under the banner of my production company Truworthy Productions. When Covid hit, and all live events were postponed or canceled, we had to press pause. As the digital event experience quickly grew, The League partnered with Playbill to present Viva Broadway: Hear Our Voices as a streaming fundraising event for Broadway Bridges and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
You created your own internship position at the Broadway League to produce this digital concert. Tell us a little bit more about this brilliant entrepreneurial journey. Did you pitch the idea? How?
Jack: When we were doing the live event, The League graciously accepted my request to consider this opportunity an official internship as part of my master's degree in Performing Arts Administration. When the event was reinvented as an online streaming experience, the request was granted again.
You have a unique combination of roles in this project - a creative producer and a non-profit fundraiser. What is it like to have to use different sides of your brain at the same time for one project? Any synergy effects?
Jack: The two compliment each other and I consider both creative. In the process of creation, you allow yourself and your partners the freedom to dream with no limitations. Once the show begins to reveal itself, your producer hat goes on and you start thinking about logistics and budget. In the process of development, you lean into the show to find authentic and creative ways to fundraise. The proceeds from Viva Broadway: Hear Our Voices were always intended to benefit a non-profit. It was really helpful to have been on the inside of the show's creation when we needed to align the vision with a fundraising strategy. When problem solving, I'm forever switching hats and trusting the experience and opinions of my colleagues when I'm in doubt. Much of what I am learning at NYU is coming into play on a daily basis. I am a full-time development officer at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. I am constantly drawing from both my marketing and development classes. I frequently think about my Leadership in Organizations class when I'm making decisions or watching others do the same. Watching theories I've learned in the classroom come to life in the field, has been both personally and professionally valuable.
The concert is free to attend. Donations can be made on the Broadway Cares website. We are also offering VIP donor opportunities including pre- and post-show Zoom parties with the cast and creative team. You can also find them on the Broadway Cares website.
One of the most exciting things about an online streaming event is that you can watch it from the comfort of your own home from anywhere in the world. I hope current NYU students, alumni and faculty will show their support and attend this exciting event!