Industry Pro Newsletter: GALA Made Whole, Tony Eligibility, Royal Court Might Make Job Cuts

New leadership transitions also mark the start of the year in the American Theatre

By: Jan. 29, 2024
Industry Pro Newsletter: GALA Made Whole, Tony Eligibility, Royal Court Might Make Job Cuts
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This week, the NEA announced $32 million in grants to institutions across the country, and while these grants are going to be vitally important to the groups that received them, it is just a drop in the bucket to the economic impact that arts organizations have on their local communities. In a new report out of Cincinnati, the impact of arts and culture institutions on that cities economy is $1.6 Billion - and that’s in one mid-sized city. In New York, we regularly see reports about the impact of Broadway, and how it is the economic engine that drives the tourism industry in NYC. Meanwhile, arts funding continues to get cut, both in the United States and abroad, leading to many institutions, like the Royal Court, facing tough choices about their future.

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Employment Opportunity

Artistic Director - Stages

Stages is looking for its next Artistic Director, someone to lead and articulate an inspiring artistic life for the company, focusing on the breadth of stories that are relevant to Houston’s rich diversity. The Artistic Director co-leads the company in partnership with the Managing Director and reports directly to Stages’ Board of Directors. The Artistic Director will serve as a clear and present leader in all actions, thoughts, and deeds. Management Consultants for the Arts has been engaged to facilitate this search.

Industry Trends

Video: Jimmy Awards Alumni Get Ready to Celebrate 15 Years

BroadwayWorld provides an exciting glimpse into the preparations for the 15th anniversary celebration of the Jimmy Awards, featuring video highlights of talented alumni gearing up for this milestone event.

American Theatre: Melia Bensussen Named National Playwrights Conference Artistic Director

Renowned director Melia Bensussen assumes the role of Artistic Director for the National Playwrights Conference. American Theatre's article introduces Bensussen and explores the potential impact of her leadership on fostering new voices in playwriting.

National Endowment for the Arts Announces $32M in Arts Funding to Organizations Nationwide

BroadwayWorld reports on the National Endowment for the Arts allocating $32 million in arts funding to organizations across the United States. The article outlines the significance of this funding initiative and its implications for supporting the vibrant landscape of the arts.

Broadway/New York

Industry Trends Weekly: APPROPRIATE is a Revival, Tonys Seek New Spokesperson, and Shabbat Comes to Broadway by Cara Joy David

I like to do one topic per week, but on rare occasions, so much happens that a subdivided column is necessary. This is one of those times.

Appropriate is a Revival

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met last week regarding the eligibility status of a handful of shows.  They didn’t make an official announcement regarding the rulings, but one promises to shake up a major Tony race. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ acclaimed Appropriate (rumored for a commercial transfer) will be considered a revival, according to multiple producers.

I’ve written frequently about how confusing I find the application of the so-called “Classics” rule, which can make a show that has never been on Broadway a revival. This season, Gutenberg was deemed revival under it. But Appropriate is closest to last season’s Between Riverside and Crazy, which was deemed a new play for Tony purposes. Both premiered off-Broadway in 2014. Both have been produced regionally. Between Riverside and Crazy even won the Pulitzer in 2015, making it if anything more famous than Appropriate. The only argument to possibly explain the discrepancy is that the Broadway production of Riverside was essentially the same production from off-Broadway (with a change in “Junior”s for each of the show’s three New York mountings). But that’s not a truly valid argument. Under that argument, How I Learned to Drive should have been deemed “new” in its 2022 Broadway debut; it was not.

Making this decision even more puzzling is that, as multiple journalists have noted, Appropriate has had rewrites along the way. But so it is. Appropriate joins Purlie Victorious, Doubt, An Enemy of the People, and Uncle Vanya in the Best Revival of a Play category.

The Tonys Will Have a New Spokesperson

The Broadway League will have a new head soon and the Tony Awards, which the League co-presents with the American Theatre Wing, will have a new spokesperson.

In summer 2004, Tony Award Productions left theatrical press agent Keith Sherman, who had repped the Tonys for 18 years, for a more widely known press outfit, PMK/HBH. When the folks that handled the account at PMK went to Slate PR, they took it. Now, almost 20 years later, the Tonys will have a new PR team. Slate is no longer on retainer and a new press agent will soon be announced for theater’s biggest night. One has to expect the team will be from one of the bigger firms, as Tony Award Productions rightfully looks for mainstream international press. Story continues, click here to read more.

54 Below Launches 35 BELOW Free Membership Program For Those Aged 35 and Under

BroadwayWorld brings the spotlight to 54 Below's initiative, "35 BELOW," offering free membership to those under 35. Dive into the details of this program, unlocking a gateway for young enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the vibrant world of theater at 54 Below.

Regional

WCPO Cincinnati: 'It's What Makes Us Cool': The Arts Net $1.6 Billion for Greater Cincinnati Economy

WCPO reports on a new report showing that Cincinnati’s arts sector contributes a staggering $1.6 billion to the local economy. The article delves into the economic significance of the arts, emphasizing their integral role in shaping the region's identity and prosperity.

The Record: Washington, D.C., Theater Whole Again After Hack

After a bank hack left their accounts all but emptied, Gala Hispanic Theatre has been made whole by their bank. A short fundraising campaign for the company while they worked through the fraud process with their bank raised $70,000.

American Theatre: Jackalope's Journey to Their New Temporary Home

Embark on a theatrical odyssey with American Theatre as it narrates the story of Jackalope Theatre Company finding refuge in a new temporary home. Delve into the details of this journey, exploring how the company adapts to new surroundings while keeping the flame of creativity alive.

American Theatre: Goodman CEO Roche Schulfer to Retire, John Collins Will Succeed

American Theatre reports on the retirement of Goodman Theatre's CEO, Roche Schulfer, and the succession by John Collins. The article unveils the legacy left by Schulfer and the vision Collins brings to this prominent position in the world of theater leadership.

International

The Guardian: Royal Court Theatre Refuses to Rule Out Job Losses as Funding Cuts Bite

As the Royal Court grapples with funding cuts and revenue losses, they have announced that they are exploring all avenues to righting the ship financially - including job cuts and more - as costs of production continue to rise.

Missed our last few newsletters?

January 23, 2024 - Baltimore Center Stage Announces Layoffs, League President's Abrupt Departure Raises Questions

January is often a rough month in the theater industry - there are fewer shows running, audiences are reluctant to venture out into the winter weather, there is typically a slate of Broadway closings, and companies are taking stock of their financial situation following the closure of (typically) popular holiday productions. This week brings us a lot of stories along those lines, both from the United States and across the globe, where one company in Australia is questioning how impact is measured after losing their funding.

January 16, 2024 - Suburban Theatre Audiences Are Still Missing in NYC and Beyond

Cara Joy David explores the concerning trend that suburban audiences are less willing to travel into the city center - whether that is in New York, Chicago, or beyond - to see shows due to a perceived increase in crime in the city, leaving audiences feeling less safe getting in and out of shows. In the UK, funding cuts force theatres to innovate in other ways to stave off closure and grow their audience, and the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis has a new Artistic Director.

January 8, 2024 - Hopes for 2024, National Theatre Wales 100% Funding Cut

Happy New Year! This week, Cara Joy David looks back at the stage door experience at a few of the musicals currently running on Broadway, we check in with various insiders hopes for Broadway in 2024, and we look at Dallas and Denver - where the recovery has taken different paths. Across the pond, The National Theatre Wales deals with a complete funding cut from their arts council.

BroadwayWorld Resources

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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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