EXCLUSIVE: Broadway Rising, a feature length documentary on the reopening of Broadway, has started production, with director Amy Rice (HBO’s By the People: The Election of Barack Obama) producing along with, among others, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Tony-winning Oklahoma! producer Justin Mikita.
The documentary will follow the complex road to reopening Broadway, highlighting not just the familiar onstage faces but the entire theater community, chronicling the hundreds of restaurant owners and staff, costume houses, designers, ushers, specialty craftspeople and theater workers both in back and front of house.
Producers say the film “celebrates their resilience and determination to achieve what at many points seemed impossible. For months, everyone had to pivot to survive. But when the time came, the heroic people that make up the heartbeat of New York City united their community, turned the lights on & lifted the curtains on the stage. As the saying goes, the show must go on — and finally, it did.”
Says director Rice, “As a filmmaker who has lived in New York City for over 20 years, there is no better lens to tell the story of New York’s resurgence from Covid than through the Broadway community. Broadway is truly the heartbeat of New York City.”
“From as early as I can remember,” adds Ferguson, who will star in Broadway’s Take Me Out next spring, “it has always been my dream to be on Broadway. My career has often taken me away from theater but my heart has always been firmly planted in the theater community. This film is for that kid, who like me have no other option but theater and who have, for the last two years, been forced to reevaluate that dream and wonder ‘What Now?’ Broadway is the soul of New York City and I am so ready to celebrate its reopening.”
The doc will be produced by Ferguson and Mikita for Cape and Helmet Productions, Sam Bisbee for Park Pictures, Christopher Cowen for STATION 10, Boardwalk Pictures, World of Ha Productions and Non-fiction studio XTR. Executive producers include Hallee Adelman, Ivy Herman, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Lance Acord and Boardwalk Pictures. Justin Lacob, Bryn Mooser and Andy Hsieh executive produce for XTR. Danielle Massie serves as co-producer.
Ferguson and Mikita most recently executive produced Welcome to Chechnya, which was shortlisted for the Oscar and won the BAFTA. Park Pictures executive produced The Truffle Hunters, Not Going Quietly, and Us Kids as well as produced the Emmy award winning film The Sentence. XTR’s credits include Ailey, Homeroom, Rebel Hearts, Ascension and the untitled Magic Johnson docuseries.
Rice is represented by WME, Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson. Ferguson is represented by ICM Partners, managed by Gartner Group entertainment and attorney is Mitch Smelkinson. STATION 10 and Boardwalk Pictures are represented by WME and Ramo Law.