The Broadway community has always been viewed as a tight knit family. With many of
the same shared ideals and backgrounds, the Broadway community has come together
even more this past year to support their presidential candidate of choice: Hillary
While there were performers supporting her prior to her official nomination as the
Democratic candidate, the communal support really began after the Democratic
National Convention, and as the idea of a Trump presidency began to sound like more
and more of a threat to performers and writers in the Broadway community.
Clinton has recognized her support from the Great White Way – she quoted Hamilton in
her DNC acceptance speech and chose Hamilton as a venue to raise money for her
campaign, where a special performance was added with the ticket money going to her
When Broadway banded together after the Orlando nightclub shooting to record a
charity single, the supergroup, featuring Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Debra
Messing, Darren Criss, Michael Urie and many more, was invited to perform at the
Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union for stage actors, released a statement on
August 30, 2016 that officially endorsed Clinton as their presidential candidate. In the
103 year history of AEA, the union has never endorsed a presidential candidate.
In the statement, AEA President Kate Shindle wrote, “Our union has historically chosen
to remain nonpartisan and above the fray. But at such a critical time in our country’s
history, this union does not have that luxury if we hope to protect our members. We
have to fight with everything we have for our survival.”
Clinton was honored to receive the endorsement and issued a statement following it.
“I have spent my life fighting to even the odds for those who have had the odds stacked
against them. That means making it possible for every child to live up to his or her God-
given potential, no matter where they come from, what they look like, or who they love,”
Over the past two months, the coalition Broadway for Hillary has become more and
more active in their campaigning. The host committee includes stage actors Gavin Creel,
Andrew and Celia Keenan-Bolger, Telly Leung, Shakina Nayfack and Adrienne Warren,
actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband, lawyer Justin Mikita, and writers Jeanine
Tesori, Andrew Lippa and Stephen Schwartz.
On the first day of phone banking for the Clinton campaign, Broadway for Hillary held a
phone bank – Broadway Calls for Clinton – at casting agency Telsey & Company’s
On September 18, members of the host committee along with Broadway actors,
including Joey Grey, Rebecca Luker, Samantha Massell, Kathryn Gallagher and Ciara
Renee filtered through the event, making calls for Clinton. The Broadway for Hillary
team wanted to raise awareness for how important calling is in a campaign. Attendees
also were trained and educated on further steps to take in campaigning.
The last big event Broadway for Hillary held took place on October 17 at Broadway’s St.
James Theater. The benefit, titled Stronger Together, raised money for Clinton’s Victory
Fund. Bill and Chelsea Clinton were both in attendance and spoke at the event. Hillary
appeared in a pre-recorded video message.
Billy Crystal emceed the evening, and Broadway stars like Kelli O’Hara, Victoria Clark,
Bernadette Peters, Neil Patrick Harris and Cynthia Erivo performed live, among many
other performers – Josh Groban, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Hugh
Jackman and Sara Bareilles. Barbra Streisand performed in a pre-recorded message.
Great Broadway creatives director Michael Mayer, musical director Seth Rudetsky and
special consultant Diane Paulus were all involved in the one night only benefit as well.
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Renee Elise Goldsberry of Hamilton performed a version of
the Hamilton number “Ten Duel Commandments,” rewritten to outline what to do
leading up to election day, including "Number Two: Call some undecideds with your
crew, your cousins in Ohio, maybe try to flip them blue."
Peters performed “Children Will Listen” from Into The Woods, and in response, Chelsea
Clinton said, “What is at stake in this election is the future we want our children to grow
up in, and whether or not we’re going to have a country we can be proud of, so that all of
us can be ourselves.”
This presidential election is proof of what the Broadway community is capable of when
banding together. Like Clinton’s campaign slogan, and the values her campaign is built
on, they too are Stronger Together.