CMU School of Drama

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Broadway Flea Market Raises Record Amount

Stage Directions: Broadway fans and theatre treasure seekers flocked to the 30th annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, raising a record $782,081. The day long event took place Sunday, Sept. 25, and featured 68 tables, 73 Broadway stars, and more than 200 auction items. Fans added unique pieces to their own theatrical collections from the tables representing Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and the auction offered extravagant Broadway experiences, like a walk on role in Kinky Boots or tickets to the opening night of Hello Dolly! All proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

7 comments:

Katie Pyne said...

Theater is really expensive. And as much as our art matters to the world we live in today, it can be hard to fundraise for your own show, let alone a separate charity. Whomever came up with the idea for the Broadway Flea Market should be given a gold star crafted by Mother Teresa herself. Here, we have actors, designers, and managers using their talent to support a larger cause. This is also a great chance for muggles to get in on the ground level too. People will really buy anything, but when you associate it with a show or a famous actor, it suddenly gains so much more value. It's a little bit of the story that people can take home with them. Events like these are what get people excited about theater because it makes them feel like they're part of the inner circle. A signed playbill might make someone's day, but that money could help someone fight HIV/AIDS, and that's what really matters.

Samantha Brown said...

The Broadway Flea market is an amazing event and I wish I could go one day. It is a very smart idea because Broadway fans are very dedicated and will pay a lot of money for some ridiculous things related to shows they like. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is a very good charity and they do a very good job at doing shows and fundraisers that make a lot of money for people in need. The Broadway Flea Market is also a great way to bring the theatre community together in one place because that does not happen very often. The only other time is the Tony Awards, but most fans are usually not there. Fans get the chance to meet their idols and buy an autograph for a good cause. These types of events do not happen that often in other industries, which makes theatre so special because it is almost like a very big family who all share a love for an art form.

Claire Farrokh said...

This is so exciting to read! I have gone to the Broadway Flea Market for the past four years, and I have worked at it for the past two years. It is always so excited to see so many different theatrical organizations coming together to support one cause. They also are all selling so much stuff! I work at the Paper Mill Playhouse table, and they sell old merchandise from past shows, and they always make a lot of money. This is particularly true because of their productions of Newsies and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, merchandise for which the most sells. Other shows like Wicked, Hamilton, and Matilda sells props from the shows and things signed by cast members, which also make a lot. Also, as the article mentions, the grand auction leads to people spend thousands of dollars on a piece of paper with Alan Menken's name on it. The auction also sells really cool once in a lifetime opportunities - like lunch with Angela Lansbury or tickets to the opening night of a show. It is a really incredible thing to experience, and it is for such a great cause. It is so much fun to go every year and I encourage everyone to try to go at least once if you find yourself in the city towards the end of September some time.

Scott MacDonald said...

I never knew an event like this existed, but it sounds like an awesome idea. I think it really emphasizes the community that theatre goers have built, and the fact that the premise is to raise money for charity makes the event meaningful. I love that this “celebration” was also a fundraiser, especially one that has a very real impact in changing people’s lives. That’s why a lot of us are in the arts: to use our skills to change lives, create experiences, inspire people—but outside of doing this creatively, this also must be done monetarily, and $780k is definitely a nice chunk of monetary inspiration, if you ask me. I think fundraisers like this help us walk the walk in addition to talking the talk. It emphasizes that we are passionate about helping people across the country, even though we may get pretty wrapped up in our work. That’s one of the reasons I love working charity and fundraiser events such as Relay for Life – if it’s for a good cause where you can directly see the benefits, it just adds a whole additional layer of ‘meaningful’ to the work. It’s one thing to show up and make a show sound or look good for a big crowd, and it’s a whole other thing if everyone is there together for a good cause.

Ruth Pace said...

Here's one flea market I could spend more than an hour at. While I usually find myself overwhelmed by the sheer amount and assortment of random crap found at traditional flea market, I feel that I'd be able to delve into the items on sale in this one. In addition to the physical items on display, the people selling these items would also be an attraction for me personally. Imagine talking to the draper responsible for Broadway's most iconic looks, and scooping up not only some impeccably crafted items, but also an anecdote or two about the personalities that drive the beautiful monster known as Broadway. Imagine meeting legends in your field, having some casual conversation, then walking away with a truly priceless object. Oh, and doing all this to benefit charity.
Honestly, can we just applaud the marketing person who came up with idea? Giving theater junkies a way to get closer to the real people behind their favorite art form, and giving the public a chance to own pieces of performing arts history is an idea I can really get behind, Here's to future flea markets!

Claire Krueger said...

I’m not surprised Hamilton made the most money. Even in Michigan where there is pretty much no theater culture people were raving about it. Its nice that the event was a fundraiser but a backstage worker could probably buy themselves vacations year over year by some of the stuff they wind up with. The walk-on-roles I think would be the best item to get, the 15,000 being completely reasonable. In my opinion I would prefer a backstage sit to an onstage appearance any day but to each their own I guess.

Megan Jones said...

I love the Broadway Flea Market! I went every year in both high school and middle school, as I'm only a short train ride away from the city at home. It's so awesome to know that they broke their record in terms of total money raised, and that all of this money went to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. They really have something for everyone there, from the high-price auction items to cheaper fun souvenirs. One of my favorite parts of the flea market every year is looking through the bins of old playbills. I've found some that are over 50 years old from the original Broadway productions of a lot of my favorite shows. People sell all kinds of cool memorabilia from both old and new shows, so if you're interested in Broadway history I would definitely recommend you go. On the whole flea market day is an awesome way to meet other people in theatre community while giving back to a great cause.

Pics from CMU Drama