‘Hamilton’s’ Lin-Manuel Miranda Wants $2.5 Billion Taxpayer Bailout for Failing Theaters

Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer and creator of the award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton,
AP Photo/Carlos Giusti

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda met with members of Congress Thursday to push for a taxpayer-funded bailout for failing theater companies across the country. The actor helped introduce a new bill that would earmark $500 million annually for five years, or $2.5 billion, to non-profit stages.

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) participated in the gathering that also included actress Phylicia Rashad and the heads of several theater institutions.

The briefing was organized by a group called the Professional Non-Profit Theater Coalition, which was founded by former Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Nataki Garrett. During her troubled tenure, Garrett’s commitment to far-left political activism alienated numerous donors and faithful ticket buyers, hastening the festival’s near-death financial crisis.

Now, she and others are pushing for taxpayer money to rescue theater companies facing similar predicaments.

“The person who [will have written] your favorite musical is working on it right now in a small theater somewhere in this country,” Miranda said during the Thursday briefing in the Russell Senate Office Building, according to a Washington Post report.

“And those small theaters are closing, and those small theaters are in crisis.”

The proposed legislation — titled the Supporting Theater and Generating Economy Activity (STAGE) Act — blames the coronavirus pandemic for the many of the hardships that companies are facing.

But it doesn’t appear to take into account the recklessly partisan nature of most theater companies, which have embraced far-left politics and woke identity politics.

New York’s Public Theater, which recently laid off nearly 20 percent of its staff, staged the assassination of President Donald Trump in its 2017 Central Park production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The staging shocked many audience members and led to the cancellation of some corporate sponsorships, including Bank of America and Delta.

The Public still derives income from the Broadway and touring productions of Hamilton.

Following the 2016 presidential election, Hamilton cast members lectured then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence from the Richard Rodgers Theatre stage, telling him that a “diverse America” was “alarmed and anxious” about the incoming Trump administration.

On Thursday, The Public’s top executive, Oskar Eustis, who directed the Trump assassination, implored lawmakers to pass the bill, comparing it to the Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA).

“We believe this is another historical moment where we can change the relationship of the federal government to the American theater,” he said.

The bill faces an uphill battle in Congress since many theaters have already received federal money from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which set aside more than $16 billion for performing arts companies and other venues during the pandemic.

But that money clearly wasn’t enough to keep many companies afloat.

The wave of unprecedented financial crises hitting prominent theaters comes as their far-left agendas continue to drive away loyal audiences in record numbers. Combined with Bidenflation that has caused their operating costs to soar, companies are facing catastrophic budgetary shortfalls and are resorting to layoffs and shutdowns.

Institutions hit hard by the perfect storm include The Public Theater in New York, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Lookingglass Theater in Chicago, The Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com


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