MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While some industries have found ways to work during the pandemic, on Broadway, the curtains are still down. Costume makers bring your favorite Broadway characters to life, and they’re in crisis right now.
Sarah Timberlake runs a costume shop in New York’s Garment District.
“It’s been super stressful. The most stressful time of my career,” she said.
Timberlake has worked on some of Broadway’s biggest shows, including “The Lion King” and “Book of Mormon.”
But with Broadway shut down for more than 8 months, and no return in sight, Timberlake said she’s lost 95% of her business.
“We’re bleeding money, and I’m just trying to make sure my people are able to put food on the table,” Timberlake said.
MORE FROM CBSMIAMI.COM
Hundreds Wait In Line For Hours For Free $250 Publix Gift Card In Miami
Dozens Of Skimmers Found At Florida Gas Stations
Gov. DeSantis Announces Florida Schools To Remain Open In Spring
Costume maker John Kristiansen and his partner started the Costume Industry Coalition to ask for more government aid.
“We were the first ones to shut down, we’ll be the last ones to reopen,” he said. “At this point we’re just racking up debt toward the business expenses we can’t get out of during this time.”
Shows won’t return to Broadway until at least May 2021, but a group of costume workers decided they can’t just sit and wait for the curtains to rise again.
On Broadway, the show must go on.
Hundreds of costume makers have turned their skills to making PPE for health care workers. It doesn’t pay the bills, but it does help save lives.
“We have to help each other. If I’ve been able to help someone now, I hope someone will help me in the future,” Timberlake said.
The shutdown on Broadway also has a huge impact on the U.S. economy. Last season, the theatre industry brought in $1.8 billion in revenue.