5 Times BroadwayCon Inspired Us to Fight Against Tyranny
By Brookelynn Mason
1. When the Opening Ceremony made us cry.
Anyone attending BroadwayCon 2017 will attest to the heightened emotions over the weekend due to the political atmosphere -- from Trump defunding the arts to the ban on Middle Eastern immigration, it was a scary and uncertain weekend. The opening ceremony for BroadwayCon, however, reminded us that art can enact change. Check out clips from the show, in which an evil "mayoress" (the blindingly talented Lesli Margherita) who really likes to tweet tries to silence the theater community, but doesn't realize that art is what helps us use our voice. It gives us the strength to go on even when the world is in chaos. OG Rent cast member Anthony Rapp, who co-founded BroadwayCon, also stars.
2. When Oak from Hamilton discussed activism with three extremely powerful women.
BroadwayCon's "Actors and Activism" panel could not have come at a more appropriate time: the day after Trump's immigration ban from Muslim countries. Panelists included Okieriete ("Oak") Onaodowan, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Tina Landau. From concerns of being blacklisted from producers and directors for speaking up, to feeling physically ill at the revival of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (I'm looking at you, Celia Keenan-Bolger), this panel left us with a fire in our bellies and a hope in our hearts. Art is activism!
3. When Jeanine Tesori told us that simply showing is a political act.
Check out the video of Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori explaining to us that simply showing up is a political act. While thousands of people protested the immigration policy at JFK Airport in New York City, thousands more attended BroadwayCon. The famous @BroadwayGirlNYC, Laura Heywood, said it best:
4. When Paula Mothafuckin' Vogel reminded us that we are ALL Muslim right now.
Paula Vogel is one of the most influential playwrights of our time. Her upcoming debut on Broadway (!) with Indecent involves a play within a play about a lesbian from a religious family who falls in love with a prostitute. In this clip, Paula explains why she thinks the theater is so important right now. Once again, we were reminded that love, art, and standing together and fighting were all needed in order to make it through the next four (difficult) years.
5. When the entire cast of Hamilton talked about the show's powerful lines.
Hamilton is constantly in the narrative whenever Broadway is mentioned, and BroadwayCon was no exception. Taran Killam recalled that the King George songs that incited the most applause changed with the political climate. "Immigrants: we get the job done!" had an extremely powerful reaction during Saturday night's show after the Muslim ban was announced. Watch more clips here to see how Hamilton and everyone involved with it continues to turn the political world upside down.