• Broadway Beat

TEDxBroadway Mandates Masks to Combat Spread of COVID-19, Hide Obvious Cringing

by Liz Wiest, @lizkhawiesta.

NEW YORK, NY - TedxBroadway, the annual conference everyone is pretending they’ve known about since 1984, is back, and ready to make both in-person and virtual audiences as uncomfortable as possible as they unironically explore a central theme of: “What’s the BEST Broadway can be?”


“Yes, Broadway is back” exclaimed producer Ben Sherribee, as the cast of Aladdin waved behind him on Zoom from their quarantine. “We are so excited to announce a lineup of speakers that are so ingrained with the community, since they all are in some way or another related to a producer or grandfathered-in actor”


Ramon Owens, an intern brought on to help diversify the event staff, shared a tentative but enthusiastic energy about the upcoming 2022 workshop.


“Yeah this is definitely the most responsibility I’ve ever had in an internship,” explained Owens as he organized boxes of the “Show Must Go On” surgical masks. “I’m on COVID-compliance duty, which I’m not sure that I’m qualified for, but also all the white people keep asking me how I think they should make things more diverse and it’s like, I don’t know man. I just need to get at least a 3.5 this semester or my parents are going to be pissed”.


Sonya Cook, a CDC representative, shared guidelines for how the event should prioritize health and safety.


“Requiring proof of vaccination is vital since the event has for some reason sold out every year” stated Cook as she signed off on a massive order of Wicked-themed hand sanitizers. “But wearing masks, even for the vaccinated, is honestly more important to hide the fact that these talks will likely include some of the most wildly hot takes from people that don’t live on this plane of reality. I’m talking empty platitudes about how “we’re all in this together” and weird analogies to Rent that don’t make sense. So you’re going to want to keep how much you’re cringing hidden the best that you can.”


Sherribee also announced that submissions to speak at the event are now open to non-industry folks, because “What is more inherently Broadway than highlighting voices of those who have no idea what they’re talking about instead of amplifying those who had been silenced from the start?”