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VIDEO: Watch Telly Leung & André De Shields Speak About the Healing Power of Broadway

"We don’t just want to go back to our jobs, we want to go back to serving New York," said de Shields.

As BroadwayWorld reported earlier today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke live from City Hall this morning to announce plans to make vaccinations more accessible to theatre workers.

As a part of the announcement, Tony winner and star of Hadestown André De Shields spoke to the need for action. "New York is on its way back, but it will not completely arrive until not only Broadway but all theatre across this great city has returned." he said.

"There is no greater illustration of how a democracy works than the process of putting up theatre, the process of putting up a Broadway show, whether it's a serious drama or a musical comedy. It takes an agreement among a community of people to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people for the greatest amount of time. We don't just want to go back to our jobs- we want to go back to serving New York."

Broadway's Telly Leung also spoke. "We help heal the soul, and we help unpack all of the trauma from the last year, not just from the pandemic, but also with the racial and social wounds that have come up because of the pandemic, which have been felt very acutely by my AAPI community in recent days," he said. "Artists will be essential in how we heal from this and understand the world and each other better so that we are stronger and better equipped to deal with other challenges that come our way together."

In the coming weeks there are plans for a dedicated vaccination site on Broadway for the theater industry, a mobile unit for off-Broadway, pop-up COVID testing sites by theatres, and plans underway to manage crowds before and after shows.

New York state vaccine eligibility does not yet include theatre workers specifically, but De Blasio's plans are intended to make the vaccine more accessible to the industry.

Read more about the current state of Broadway.

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