What the theater crunch could mean for the subsidiary market.

Every quarter, my Assistant prepares a new chart of what’s in all the Broadway theaters, and what we expect is coming next.

At a glance it tells me what theaters are available, or as I like to say, “in play.”  (Get it?  In “play!”  Alright, alright, it’s not that funny, I know.  I’m practicing my soon-to-be-Dad humor.)

And every quarter the number of those “in play” theaters get smaller and smaller, as shows run longer and longer.

This theatrical traffic jam is preventing a lot of new shows from getting on the road to Broadway.

And now, just like any traffic jam that doesn’t get cleared up quick, it’s causing a problem on the other end of the jam.

See the regional theater market, the summer stock market, the community theater market, etc., all depend on new shows coming down the pike to fill their seasons.  These theaters like to do the “new” stuff too (when it eventually trickles down to them).  After all, how many times can they do Oklahoma?

Well, if there are fewer theaters on Broadway for new shows, then that means fewer new shows for the subsidiary market.

So what’s a non-Broadway theater to do?

Look elsewhere!

And that’s the good news for writers out there.

If the subsidiary market isn’t getting an adequate supply of shows for their markets, they’ll have to get their product elsewhere.  And that means these theaters might start taking shows without a Broadway pedigree.

So if you’re a writer, don’t pin all your hopes and dreams on Broadway . . . because I’m predicting that there is going to be a whole bunch more opportunities coming your way.

All thanks to the Broadway traffic jam.

(Want to hear more about how one playwright has earned a living without ever having a show on Broadway?  Click here.)

 

Broadway Grosses w/e 2/18/2018: A President everyone can get behind.

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending February 18, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

How many women do THIS on Broadway?

There has been a lot of conversation in the past few years about the disproportionate number of women writers on Broadway, women directors on Broadway, and even strong central female characters on Broadway.

(And a lot of this discussion has happened on my own podcast:  Just listen to Jeanine Tesori, Lynne Meadow and Lynn Ahrens talk about the subject.)

Since like-attracts-like, one of the greatest lessons I got about this subject was from Lynn Ahrens, who said “Ken, you’re a guy . . . whether you know it or not, you may feel naturally inclined to go to another guy, especially if the biggest pool of applicants are men.  So before you make a decision about staffing any position, just take another beat to set aside any habitual instinct and consider anyone and everyone for the job.”

Pretty amazing advice, don’t you think?

This got me to thinking about the like-attracts-like concept.  I’ve written about a similar phenomenon before, in this blog about how to get more stories about people of color on our stages (which involves getting more writers of color opportunities to write those stories).

So back to how to get more women directors, more women writers, etc. represented on Broadway.

I’m not sure I have the answer, but I can tell you for sure what one of the problems is.

I had my research team (led by my Associate Producer Valerie (yes, a female) Novakoff) dig into the trenches of IBDB.com and they came back with this statistic.

In the last 5 years, only 28.46% of all Broadway commercial plays or musicals had female Lead Producers.

Although this is better than the 6.4% of CEOs that are women on the Fortune 500, it’s still tremendously disappointing.

Not only because we need more equality in the folks leading shows, but because if there were more women Lead Producing shows, there would, I’d bet, be more women directors, more women writers and more female stories on Broadway.

Now, that’s the easy part.

The hard part is, as always, what to do with the data once we have it.

Do we offer young Associate Producer scholarships . . . giving qualified applicants the title credit without requiring a money-raise to get them started?

Do we ask high schools around the country to assign a Producer to their high school musicals, and encourage them to chose a young woman?

How do we leverage the accomplishment of that 28.46%?

What are your ideas on how we level the producing field?

 

 

 

Broadway Grosses w/e 2/11/2018: Ok, now that THAT’s over.

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending February 11, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

Podcast Episode 148 – Tony Nominated Choreographer, Sergio Trujillo

Most great dancers start training when they are in the womb.

Ok, maybe not that early, but it ain’t too long after they are walking until they are pliéing and pirouetting all around the living room, to paraphrase a little Chorus Line.

If you start dancing later in life and want to be the best, you gotta want it more and work harder.

It’s super clear in the first fifteen minutes of this podcast that Sergio Trujillo works harder at achieving his goals and won’t stop until he gets them.

That’s how he became one of Broadway’s best dancers after starting his career at age 18.

And that’s how he became one of Broadway’s best choreographers in record time, after hanging up his jazz shoes at the height of his performing career.

This is the kind of story I love. So we spent some time talking about his path from a poor kid from Colombia to the Tony Nominated choreographer of Jersey Boys and others, as well as . . .

  • How he got the courage to audition for a dance show, having never taken a dance class in his life.
  • Why instead of staying in NYC, he moved back to Toronto to start his choreography career.
  • The part of the process he loves the most (and why he’s a nervous wreck before he gets to this part in a show’s development).
  • His message to the politicians in NYC.
  • What he looks for in a show before he sets a step.

He also talked about directing more.

Here’s a prediction that is as easy to make as the sun will come up tomorrow . . . Sergio will no longer be one of Broadway’s most sought-after choreographers.  He will soon be one of the most sought-after director/choreographers.

Click here for the link to my podcast with Sergio!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

 

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