People walk in front of “Hamilton” at the Richard Rodgers Theater in Times Square on May 12, 2021 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Broadway hit “Hamilton” could receive up to $ 50 million from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, a $ 16 billion federal aid program run by live events company Pandemic Aid, according to a report in the New York Times offers.
The pandemic paralyzed Broadway production along with four touring productions. Through this grant program, each production received $ 10 million to make up for lost revenue. (There is also a show in London, but it is not eligible for the scholarship.)
The Tony Award-winning musical has been played to a full house since it opened in 2015 and has been watched by millions. While some are critical of a very successful production that is receiving federal aid, the show’s lead producer Jeffrey Seller told the New York Times that the goal is to bring Hamilton’s finances back to pre-pandemic levels.
It is common practice for shows to incorporate touring productions separately, but Hamilton has the largest number of tours due to its popularity and is therefore entitled to $ 50 million. The Broadway production and two of the tours have each received grants, while the remaining two are still awaiting feedback, the newspaper reported.
The seller told the New York Times that no grant money goes to producers, investors, or royalty payments. The money will instead be used for reopening costs and reimbursements for pandemic-related expenses incurred during the productions. These are all costs that the productions had to pay if they didn’t generate income, he said.
Some of the reopening costs include rehearsals for actors, musicians, and stagehands, workshops for new cast members, repairs and equipment replacements, transportation of people and sets, Covid-19 security guards, and marketing of the shows.
A Hamilton spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
The cultural events and live entertainment venues aid program was included in the second Covid-19 aid package and aimed to preserve the industry hard hit by the pandemic. Security measures resulted in many of these venues being closed for months. Eligible companies, including music clubs, theaters, and event organizers, will have access to up to $ 10 million based on their gross revenues as of 2019.
The program started slowly after its initial start was delayed by technology bugs that have since been fixed. It was then criticized for slow processing times when processing applications. According to the Small Business Association, more than 14,000 small businesses across the country have applied for the grants.
Last week, Senator Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn said the SBA will process most closed venue grant applications by early July.
Others who have received $ 10 million in grants include the Nederlander Organization, which owns nine theaters in New York, and the Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns five theaters and currently hosts the production of “The Book of Mormon,” so the agency’s documents.
Read the full story in the New York Times.
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