In an exclusive interview and photoshoot on Broadway with HELLO! magazine, actress Summer Strallen talks of the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the theatre business, as well as how it affected her personally.
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Summer, who was due to star in an off-Broadway production when the pandemic struck, tells the magazine: "I was in shock for weeks. I couldn't stop crying and was diagnosed with depression. So many of my highly skilled, talented colleagues were out of work, but to pay their rent and put food on the table, they’d taken jobs in supermarkets or as drivers."
Summer was diagnosed with depression during lockdown
Summer tells how she took action by creating online platform The Strallen Collective for top theatre stars to provide virtual singing, dancing and acting workshops.
"I decided I had to do something. By creating an online platform, all these amazing artists could make a living at what they'd trained to do all their lives. I wanted to give them the chance to shine and feel valued again," says Summer a trained yoga instructor who offers yoga and meditation classes through the Strallen Collective.
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The British star, speaking to HELLO! from New York, where she is now based, says it's hard to see the city so deserted.
The actress was due to star in an off-Broadway production
"I can't help feeling a sense of bittersweet walking down Broadway and around the city since the pandemic began. The lack of hustle and bustle in every neighbourhood is strange and disconcerting - but everywhere does feel cleaner and more peaceful."
However, she is still hopeful. "After getting to know the artists through these workshops, I think it will inspire people to go and see even more shows when theatres re-open," says Summer. "As for the performers, this work is making them feel happy and valued again."
To book classes, go to www.thestrallencollective.com
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