ST. LOUIS — A new fundraiser involves some big, St. Louis-born stars. Celebrities like Jon Hamm and Sterling K. Brown are donating virtual hangouts to raise money. It was the idea of St. Louis Actor's Studio founder William Roth to help theater groups struggling in the pandemic.
He said, “I was sitting around going, I've got to figure out something. Hey, if I'm sitting around, maybe Jon Hamm is sitting around and maybe Sterling K. Brown is sitting around."
He was right, and the celebs agreed to help raise money for a cause they're passionate about.
"The pandemic has threatened the survival of small professional theatres," Sterling K. Brown said in a video.
If you donate, you are automatically entered to win some Zoom time with one of these stars.
Roth said, "Basically, the way it works, for every $70 donation, you get 50 chances to have a Zoom hang out with one of our celebs."
It's called the Small Professional Theater Sustainment Fund.
It's an effort to help these theater companies in St. Louis, as well as those across the nation, pay their bills until they can safely reopen.
Roth said, "This is pretty much a cry for help for small professional theaters in St. Louis and around the country. There are a lot of things that can sustain themselves for a long period of time. Small professional theaters like St. Louis Actors Studio, in a matter of weeks and months, could be gone forever. And when the nation starts back up, will find themselves with very little on the small theatre scale."
It's not just Jon Hamm and Sterling K. Brown who have volunteered to help. If you donate, you could get to hang out on Zoom with one of these other stars.
Roth said, “Corey Finley just finished a movie for HBO - Bad Education. Neil LaBute as nationally known play right and movie director. Sam McMurray is a well known actor and a good friend. A good friend of the studio and Beau Willimon, who is well known for his work in TV and Broadway."
Winners will be drawn September 17. The one question is, what will you talk about with the celebrity if you win? They'll leave that to you.
To learn more or to make a donation, visit stlas.org/sustain.