Archive for October, 2011

Take The Seniors Community Survey Now!

October 28, 2011 Comments off

Angela Lansbury

Last Friday The Actors Fund held the Kick-Off Event for our Seniors Community Survey, which is for everyone over 60 in the Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen/Clinton communities. The event featured the survey’s spokesperson, Angela Lansbury –who gave a fabulous reading of David Wright’s poem “Lines on Retirement, after Reading Lear” – as well as NY City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Assembly Members Linda Rosenthal and Richard Gottfried, City Council member Gale Brewer and Actors Fund President & CEO Joe Benincasa.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

In partnership with The Actors Fund, The Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Manhattan Plaza’s Rodney Kirk Center & Community Board 4, the survey will be conducted from early October through December 2011, and will seek information on demographics, living arrangements, health, community concerns and specific questions designed to target issues particular to performing arts professionals. The information gathered from the Seniors Community Survey will be used to improve the quality of life for older New Yorkers by expanding or creating the community programs and services found to be the most important. With the number of people over 55 doubling in the next 20 years – and Manhattan Plaza at the heart of the community already home to over 1,000 seniors – The Actors Fund is focusing in on the Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea neighborhoods to better understand and address the changing needs of local residents. Some of the survey questions are specifically for performing arts community members, because so many live in these neighborhoods, and because The Actors Fund is dedicated to enhancing services to this group.

If you’d like to participate in the survey – which is live through the end of December 2011, visit As thanks, you’ll have a chance to be one of five people who will win $100 for taking part! (You are eligible only if you are 60 years of age or older and live in one of the following zip codes: 10001, 10011, 10018, 10019, or 10036)


A Standing Ovation For Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

October 20, 2011 Comments off

We want to take more than a moment to thank Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for the amazingly generous support the organization has given to The Actors Fund over the course of its history. Our largest supporter, BC/EFA’s Board of Directors marked our ongoing relationship at its October 3rd Board of Directors Meeting, celebrating the $4,014,500 granted to The Fund during BC/EFA’s 2011 fiscal year (which ended September 30th). The money supports numerous Actors Fund programs, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, Actors Fund Work Program, The Dancers’ Resource, Stage Managers’ Project.

In the photo, from left to right, is Danny Whitman, Scott Barnes, Jay Laudato, Sherry Cohen, Tim Tompkins, Judy Rice, Merle Debuskey, Barry Brown, Charlotte St. Martin, Tom Viola, Jordan Roth, Joe Benincasa, Michael Graziao, Phil Birsh, Jerry Mitchell, Richard-Jay Alexander, Maria DiDia, Nia Lannon, Bobby Score, Ira Mont, Cornelius Baker, David Stone, Larry Cooke and Richard Frankel. We’d also like to thank a few people who aren’t in the photo, including BC/EFA President Paul Libin, the BC/EFA management team and the theatrical community–all of whom work together to make BC/EFA’s – and The Actors Fund’s – programs possible!

Curtain Call: Funny Girl 2002 – Lillias White Performs “Don’t Rain On My Parade”

October 13, 2011 Comments off

As we scoured the Internet for footage celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Dreamgirls 20th Anniversary Benefit Concert for The Actors Fund a few weeks ago, we discovered this wonderful video of Lillias White blowing the lid off of the iconic “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from the 2002 benefit production of Funny Girl. The concert version of the acclaimed musical about Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice took place on September 23, 2002 at Ziegfeld’s own New Amsterdam Theater, the Follies‘ home. In an unusual twist, the role of Ms. Brice was shared by a collection of Broadway’s brightest, and the evening’s performers included Gary Beach, Len Cariou, Carolee Carmello, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Peter Gallagher, Ana Gasteyer, Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Krakowski, Judy Kuhn, Julia Murney, LaChanze, Ricki Lake, Andrea Martin, Idina Menzel, Bebe Neuwirth, Alice Playten, The Rockettes, and Ms. White.

The Actors Fund Helps: Zoë

October 6, 2011 Comments off

Since she turned to The Actors Fund’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI) for help when she was fighting cancer nearly ten years ago, Zoë Morsette has been a huge fan of The Actors Fund, and has done whatever she can to give back. A successful Theatrical Craftsperson who was unable to work during chemotherapy, PNWHI helped Zoë through that incredibly difficult time, offering her psychological support, financial assistance, and a helping hand. We’ve chatted with Zoë in the past about the bears she’s created for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ Broadway Bears auctions, but we decided it was time to ask her to sit down for one of our video interviews, so she could share with everyone the story of her cancer fight — and how PNWHI helped.

For more information on The Actors Fund’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, and all of our programs and services, visit our website at