How to support the comedy and arts industries during COVID-19

With the cancellation of many live events, the performing arts world has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Here’s are some ways you can help.

By Vanessa Vallon


With the cancellation of practically all live events, the performing arts world has been hit especially hard by the social distancing measures required by the pandemic. Beyond the obvious concerts and sporting events, the theater and stand-up comedy industries have suffered as well.

We’ve compiled a list of ways those of us fans can both continue to enjoy and support the creative industries we love during this difficult and distanced time. Check it out. 

Stream Live Shakespeare

The theater may be temporarily shuttered, but the show must go on..the only question is: where? Created by actor Robert Myles, “The Show Must Go Online” answers that question with accomplished actors from around the world performing complete Shakespeare plays via Zoom, which is live-streamed on YouTube every Wednesday. They’ve already conquered “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “The Taming of the Shrew” and the complete “Henry VI” trilogy. Viewers are encouraged to donate to all involved parties via the project’s Patreon page.

Tune in (and donate) to 24 Hour Plays

24-Hour Plays has increased the intensity of an already challenging feat in the time of social distancing. The series, which unites an unlikely team of celebrities and writers, challenges creatives to craft, rehearse and stage an original play in a day. So far, folks like Jesse Eisenberg, Rachel Dratch, Hugh Dancy, Tavi Gevinson, and more have hopped onboard to create and share their work on Instagram. The initiative is accepting donations on its website.

Donate to Broadway Cares

One of the top theater industry non-profits, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has launched a COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, with proceeds directed to theater professionals in need of healthcare and essential items during the pandemic. Gilead Sciences is currently matching all donations.

Tip a Comedian

With comedy clubs closed, many comedians have taken to the stages of Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch to showcase their latest bits. However, without a door fee or physical tip jar, comedians are relying on fans to take it upon themselves to throw them some change via Patreon or PayPal. Check out accounts like Comedy Quarantine, National Lampoon: Live!, and Warm Milk, and don’t forget to click the donation link; consider it the “two drink minimum.”