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Industry Pro Newsletter: BWW 20th Hosts Announced, A Tentative Agreement Between AEA and the Broadway League

Cara Joy David Reports on what the Broadway League is doing (or not) to support a still lagging Broadway Box Office



With voting underway in the BroadwayWorld Awards around the globe, it is an exciting time around the BroadwayWorld offices - but nothing has been more exciting than our announcement last week of our 20th Anniversary Celebration set to take place on May 21, 2023 at Sony Hall in the theatre district. The event will be hosted by none other than BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge and Tony Award-Winning Broadway Legend Chita Rivera. This is an event we're all thrilled about, and can't wait to release more details as the date gets closer.

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Industry Trends

Industry Pro Newsletter: BWW 20th Hosts Announced, A Tentative Agreement Between AEA and the Broadway League

Chita Rivera and Richard Ridge to Host BroadwayWorld's 20th Anniversary Celebration

BroadwayWorld, the #1 online destination for Broadway, theatre and live entertainment news across the globe, is excited to announce that it will celebrate its 20th Anniversary Concert on Sunday, May 21, 2023 at the iconic Sony Hall (235 W 46th St., NY, NY), in the heart of Broadway's theatre district. The evening will be hosted by Tony Award-Winning Broadway legend Chita Rivera, along with her longtime friend, BroadwayWorld's own Richard Ridge. BroadwayWorld's CEO & Founder, Robert Diamond says, "This is a match made in heaven!" Click here to read more...

Broadway/New York

Can Broadway Rebound in 2023? By Cara Joy David

It's no secret that Broadway has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. The Thanksgiving week box office gross was $37,475,773, compared to $41,687,333 for Thanksgiving week 2019. (While fewer shows were playing, capacity was also down, as was average ticket price.) The list of reasons for this is long: tourism is not fully back, we have a strong dollar, Covid is still keeping many traditional theatergoers away, at-home entertainment is booming, crime is constantly in the news, etcetera. And the impact of Broadway's slow reboot is coupled with rising weekly running costs caused primarily by inflation, supply chain issues and Covid-related necessities.

Yes, this all leads to shows closing, but its impact is much more than simply that. Investors are skittish; shows are entering previews extremely short of their capitalization mark and producers are fundraising right until opening. Entrenched theatrical producers are bringing on more and more celebrities from other fields and billing them as producers, a move aimed at generating publicity. Shows are increasing their capitalization goals not only because of increased costs but also because of the need for increased reserves. Traditionally a reserve was 10% of a show's capitalization, with some producers going higher so they could weather more storms or jump more immediately on an opportunity. Now several producers are budgeting well over 20% for their reserve, knowing that the early weeks and months of a show's run (typically not a goldmine time unless you have a bankable star) will likely be even harder than they were three years ago.

The big question in the industry for months has been -- what can be done? No one is sure. Many think nothing. Several producers, however, have a pipe dream. They remain angry at The Broadway League for what they consider a botched reopening ad campaign. The campaign, "This is Broadway," leaned heavily into nostalgia and Oprah rather than focusing primarily on the returning shows. These producers wish there could be a new campaign, more along the lines of the original "I Love New York" Broadway commercial that was so successful in the late 70s and into the 80s. (A suggestion Michael Riedel publicly floated last summer in the New York Post before "This is Broadway" launched.) They hope ideally it could be part of a bigger state or city campaign, just as "I Love New York" was, and are approaching contacts accordingly. (New York City spent $30 million on "NYC Reawakens" in summer 2021, but none of the relevant ads truly showcased Broadway offerings.) The effort would indeed need to be something the government would sponsor, because The Broadway League is not into it.

Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, explained the League was focused on awareness-raising efforts such as Curtain Up, a festival which launched the season, and promotions such as Kids Night on Broadway or Broadway Week (which is presented in collaboration with the city's marketing arm, NYC & Co.).

"We are not currently planning on a big ad campaign as we did for Broadway to return last year," St. Martin emailed. "That's not really what the League does except in extremely unusual circumstances."

Broadway League and AEA Reach Tentative Agreement

Actors' Equity Association and The Broadway League have reached a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement for the Production Contract that governs Broadway shows and sit-down productions across the country. The agreement remains subject to ratification now by Equity members in a vote by electronic ballot. Click here to read more...

To Kill a Mockingbird Back in the Courtroom

According to The New York Times, a new lawsuit involving To Kill a Mockingbird is now underway. To Kill a Mockingbird's Broadway producers tried to stop regional theaters throughout the nation from producing an earlier version of the book in 2019. The Broadway producers have launched a lawsuit against the owners of the Sergel script, which was written, this week. They requested that the judge permit either version of the stage production to be shown in theaters across the nation. They are attempting to overturn an arbitration decision that stated the Sergel screenplay had exclusive rights to the majority of markets outside of Broadway, the West End, and the current National Tour, which is traveling the country. Click here to read more...

Voting Now Open for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Off/Off-Off Broadway Awards

Voting is now open for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Off/Off-Off Broadway Awards! Nominations were reader-submitted and now our readers get to vote for their favorites. Click here to read more...

Regional

Industry Pro Newsletter: BWW 20th Hosts Announced, A Tentative Agreement Between AEA and the Broadway League

Bag&Baggage Names Nik Whitcomb Artistic Director

Nik Whitcomb has worked with nonprofit arts organizations all throughout the country in a variety of capacities. These organizations include the Guthrie Theater, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and Omaha Performing Arts, among others. As Program Director of the Black Theatre Coalition, Nik has also collaborated on Broadway with producers, general managers, and other industry professionals. In 2020, American Theatre Magazine named Nik a "Theatre Worker You Should Know." Click here to read more...

Redtwist in Chicago Announces New Leadership Team

Dusty Brown has been named Artistic Director, Eileen Dixon has been named Community Director, and Michael Dias is the new Development Director for the longtime Chicago storefront company. The team anticipates announcing a 2023 season soon. Click here to read more...

International

Impact of Arts Council England Cuts Will Reverberate Globally

Writing in The New York Times, Matt Wolf describes how cuts to two stages in London - The Donmar Warehouse and Hampstead Theater - could have implications well beyond London in the way that both companies develop new, non-commercial, work. Click here to read more...

Missed our last few newsletters?

November 28, 2022 - Orchestras Back on the Road, Streaming Continues for Some Companies

With many theatres getting into the swing of things with their holiday offerings, the end of 2022 is now in sight for many companies. The last few years have seen seismic shifts in how the industry operates, and this week, Cara Joy David brings us a great piece about how some companies are keeping the relatively new avenue of streaming open as a way to maintain access for audiences. Click here to read more...

November 21, 2022 - NYC Tourism is Back, Regional Awards Voting Underway

As many theatres get into the swing of their holiday shows and end of year giving campaigns, some good signs for the New York theater industry as tourism continues to rebound from the pandemic. While things still aren't back to the record setting year of 2019, the city is anticipating ending the year at about 85% of those levels, with a huge number of tourists making their way to the city between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. Click here to read more...

November 14, 2022 - New Funding Challenges in the UK and US, New Leaders Take Their Posts

In the UK, there has been a major shift in governmental funding - with Arts Council England moving funds out of London and into the regions, causing a lot of major institutions to sort out how to fill the gap. In the US, programs designed to help businesses and producers make it through the pandemic have been winding down or coming to an end over the last fiscal year - but audiences and other funding aren't yet back to their pre-pandemic levels, leaving leaders in a tough position to figure out how to get their institutions back on firm financial footing. Click here to read more...

BroadwayWorld Resources

BroadwayWorld Stage Mag - A Fully Interactive Show Program

The digital solution to your show program needs - want to see what's possible? Check out the Stage Mag's for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and for The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)! Then start building your own at stagemag.broadwayworld.com.

Add Your Show to our Regional Events Calendar

As audiences get set to return to in-person performances, and as your company works to market your own return to the stage, make sure you've got your upcoming shows in our regional events calendars. Listings are free of charge, with boosting options available. Get your show listed now

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