While the classic musical “Rent” probably comes to mind when thinking of Broadway and HIV/AIDS awareness, did you know that supporting the Broadway community can help raise awareness and funds?
Fighting AIDS is a long-standing part of Broadway culture, which means that when you go to a Broadway show, it is often possible that you are also contributing to a great cause.
An entire organization, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, is dedicated to Broadway’s involvement in fighting AIDS. It assists artists with AIDS and other critical health issues through use of The Actors Fund, and it helps promote AIDS awareness nationwide. You can support Broadway Cares by making a donation or attending one of its many events.
Broadway stars’ personal charity work
HIV/AIDS is a personal cause in the Broadway world — many Broadway stars have lost their lives to it, such as Larry Kert, who originated the role of Tony in “West Side Story.” Perhaps because Broadway stars’ charity efforts are not usually as well documented as Hollywood celebrities, you might not be aware of how much they are doing for AIDS awareness and research.
For instance, Anthony Rapp, an original “Rent” cast member, has been known to give lectures about HIV/AIDS and how art has influenced society’s discourse about the illness. Rapp also works with the Friends in Deed organization, which provides advocacy and support for those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.
World AIDS Day
Many of those involved with Broadway were also involved in 2015’s World AIDS Day, which did major fundraising at its annual worldwide awareness campaign. In fact, the wearing of red ribbons, now synonymous with AIDS awareness, began at the 1991 Tony Awards when actors wore them pinned to their gowns and tuxedos. Broadway Cares still distributes “Not Over” pins and red ribbons to help spread awareness for World AIDS Day.
Exposure and information
Because AIDS is a Broadway-wide concern, many Broadway plays increase exposure to the disease and provide information to attendees. For example, “As Is,” which premiered in 1985, also focuses on the AIDS pandemic in a New York City group of friends. “Falsettos,” which premiered in 1992, tells the story of a man as he navigates relationships with his ex-wife, his psychiatrist, his son and his gay lover. “The Normal Heart,” which made its Broadway debut in 2011 after many years off-Broadway, focuses on the AIDS crisis between 1981 and 1984 through the eyes of the leader of an HIV advocacy group.
Get tickets ahead of time
If you want to see any of these Broadway shows, you should purchase your tickets ahead of time through an online retailer like Telecharge and avoid the high-pressure situation of buying tickets at the theater. Check out the Telecharge interface for tickets to “The Phantom of the Opera” and see how convenient purchasing tickets this way can be. You also can find more information about this Broadway play, and you can read it at your own pace.