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Hippodrome Theatre Helps Secure Tax Credit to Launch Pre-Broadway Productions in Maryland

The legislation provides up to $2 million in refundable tax credits for eligible productions with a maximum of $5 million in credits awarded per year.

Hippodrome Theatre Helps Secure Tax Credit to Launch Pre-Broadway Productions in Maryland

Ron Legler, president of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, home of Broadway Across America's Hippodrome Theatre, together with bill sponsors Maryland State Senator Guy Guzzone and Maryland State Delegate Vanessa E. Atterbeary, today announced the approval of Maryland House Bill 641, which provides a tax credit incentive for theatrical production companies to launch national tours and set pre-Broadway runs in Maryland. This job-creating legislation will encourage producers to bring their productions to Maryland for weeks of technical work and rehearsals prior to launching their tours and/or bringing new shows to Broadway. The legislation provides up to $2 million in refundable tax credits for eligible productions with a maximum of $5 million in credits awarded per year.

The launch of national Broadway tours and previews will require companies to build, rehearse and fine-tune their productions for many weeks prior to public performances. The impact of these pre-production activities means additional weeks of union wages, hotel occupancy, travel into Maryland, local equipment rentals, material acquisitions and tourism revenue for the State of Maryland. It also gives Maryland residents enhanced access to Broadway entertainment.

"Ron Legler saw a tremendous opportunity to attract more union work and creative talent to Maryland," says bill sponsor Senator Guy Guzzone. "Historically, Baltimore was known as a major tryout city for shows trying to get to Broadway. We hope this new incentive will reenergize Broadway producers and their creative teams to choose Maryland for their pre-Broadway activities."

The tax credit will keep union stagehands, musicians, wardrobe and box office employees working in the summer and early fall months when theatres are traditionally closed. The realization of millions of dollars in additional economic impact and tourism dollars in Maryland from the tour launches means a significant return on investment for the state.

"The last two years of the pandemic have been devastating for the live entertainment industry and the hundreds of union and creative workers who rely on live entertainment to pay their mortgages and put food on their family's tables," says Legler. "We applaud this bipartisan effort to support the performing arts in Maryland and help shorten the economic road to recovery for the industry."

As part of the tax credit program, the Hippodrome Foundation, Inc. (HFI) will provide Maryland youth access to artists, creators and experts through new and free educational opportunities that would otherwise not be available. Each year, HFI works to introduce thousands of students and community members to the arts and the assets of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. By exposing young people to new possibilities, HFI raises the curtain on opportunity.

"The Hippodrome Foundation plans on taking full advantage of all the talent and creative experts who will now come to Maryland to share their experiences with student-based organizations and schools across the region," says Olive Waxter, executive director of HFI. "We look forward to building free educational opportunities, masterclasses and workshops around each production thanks to this groundbreaking new tax credit."

The State of Maryland's Theatrical Production Tax Credit takes effect July 1, 2022.

The Hippodrome Theatre is part of Broadway Across America, the foremost market leader for live touring theatre in North America. The Hippodrome Foundation joins Broadway Across America as their non-profit partner in the state of Maryland and is committed to provide outreach and education programs for the community. The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center is a state building, and the Hippodrome Foundation is committed to share this asset with the people of Maryland.



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