(Laura Collins-Hughes’s article appeared in The New York Time, 8/8; via Pam Green.)

With plays and musicals folding left and right, Broadway stars impart wisdom they gained when it happened to them.

On Broadway, summer is an unforgiving season: that time, post-Tony Awards, when shows fold in large numbers. With a half-dozen closures coming right up — some productions that failed to catch on, others that enjoyed long or commercially successful runs — that means a lot of jobs vanishing, too. For people who work in the industry, endings are part of theater’s cycle of life, a hazard to navigate.

Now, we’re not monsters. We’re not going to ask anyone who is about to be out of work to look on the bright side. But we did ask seven Broadway actors — all in current hits, but all with outright flops in their past — to tell us: What’s the best thing that ever happened to you because a show closed early? Their answers were a mix of practical savvy, glass-half-full gratitude and epiphanic philosophy.

Here are edited and condensed excerpts from those conversations.

Patrick Page

Currently playing Hades in “Hadestown”
Mr. Page played Rufus R. Buckley in “A Time to Kill” (2013)

For me, it’s always been a job that I didn’t expect that I then really, really love. When “A Time to Kill” closed, that made me available for “Casa Valentina.” At the stage door of “Casa Valentina,” frequently people would say, “I loved ‘A Time to Kill.’ I was sorry that that closed so early,” and I said, “If it hadn’t closed so early, you wouldn’t be seeing me in this.” It has to be a deep, core fundamental belief that whatever it is you are not doing, you’re not doing for a reason — that something awaits you. You have to have that somewhere inside you, or you simply couldn’t take the number of nos that you’re going to get. You have to understand that the nos are clearing the way.

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