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Industry Pro Newsletter: New CEO of Second City, New Leadership Across the Country

UK Arts Orgs Seek New Royal Patronage

While the fall season gets underway, this week's newsletter is packed with stories of new leaders settling into their jobs - and facing the new realities of the theater industry. With the announced closing of Broadway's longest running show, questions have risen about tourism (the numbers in New York actually look much stronger than a hot take on Phantom might suggest), about the resiliency of brands (also highlighted by what the future might hold for Second City), and what gets audiences excited to come out to the theater. There aren't easy answers, but we'll continue to bring you the newly developed industry best practices as they develop each week in this newsletter.

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Industry Trends

Second City's New CEO Plans An Expansion of the Brand

Ed Wells, previously of the Sesame Workshop, takes on the role of CEO of the improv comedy brand and wants to hit the ground running to re-expand the brand. Wells and the Second City team are focused on expanding media partnerships as well as creating new venues in other major cities outside of Chicago and Toronto. Click here to read more...

Broadway/New York

Industry Pro Newsletter: New CEO of Second City, New Leadership Across the Country

Broadway's Longest Running Show, The Phantom of the Opera, to Close in February

Seen by 19.8 million on Broadway, it has made $1.3 billion in revenue; internationally, 145 million people have seen it in 41 different countries. Four weeks before it closes, it will celebrate its 35th Anniversary. In an interview with the New York Times, producer Cameron Mackintosh described rising costs and lower box office receipts as pointing to the need to find the right way to close the show. Click here to read more...

Robert Garland Will Take Over at Dance Theater of Harlem

Virginia Johnson, who served as Dance Theater of Harlem's creative director for many years and brought the organization's defunct professional company back to life after a long sabbatical, announced her retirement from the position on Thursday. Her successor is Robert Garland, currently the company's resident choreographer and head of its school. Garland, 61, quoted David Dinkins, the first Black mayor of New York City, in explaining the vision he had for the organization. Dinkins described the city as a "beautiful mosaic of color and religious faith, of national origin and sexual orientation." Click here to read more...


Industry Pro Newsletter: New CEO of Second City, New Leadership Across the Country

Marissa Lynn Ford Named Executive Director of League of Chicago Theatres

Ford formerly served as Associate Managing Director at The Goodman Theatre before joining the League of Chicago Theatres. She has led IDEAA initiatives (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, Anti-Racism), negotiated contracts, and directed Chicago's first Covid-19 Equity-approved production, among other accomplishments. Ford's tenure at the League will start in October 2022. Deb Clapp, who led the service organization for 14 years before stepping down on June 30, 2022, is replaced by Ford. Throughout the change in leadership, Clapp will continue to consult with the League. Click here to read more...

David Ellenstein to Serve as Interim Artistic Director of Laguna Playhouse

The Laguna Playhouse and its Board of Directors have announced that David Ellenstein, the artistic director of North Coast Repertory Theatre, has been named the Playhouse's interim artistic director from October 3, 2022, to January 1, 2023. He will keep serving as North Coast Repertory Theatre's artistic director. Click here to learn more...

Mary Moody Northern Theatre Names Anna Skidis Vargas as Resident Artistic Director

Anna Skidis Vargas has been selected to serve as the Mary Moody Northen Theatre's new resident artistic director at St. Edward's University. Skidis Vargas is a playwright, director, actor, and educator who specializes in producing plays that highlight Latinx and mixed identities. Skidis Vargas worked as a resident director and assistant professor of theatre arts at Mary Moody Northen Theatre and St. Edward's University before being designated resident artistic director. Click here to read more...

Tracy Brigden named Guthrie Senior Artistic Producer

Tracy Brigden has been named the Guthrie Theater's Senior Artistic Producer and a member of the Senior Management Team. She spent 16 years as the artistic director of City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before moving on to the Guthrie, where she helped the company achieve recognition and esteem as a significant producer and incubator of new plays and musicals. At City Theatre, the company produced close to 200 plays and started a robust play development program with a new play festival. Click here to read more...


Following the Queen's Death, a Scramble for New Royal Patrons

More than 50 cultural organizations boasted the Queen as patron, giving them an additional reason to mourn her passing last weekend. Each will now try to find a new royal sponsor. It's a matter of competition who you get. In the next weeks, there will be a silent race to find a member of the direct royal family rather than a stranger. While there isn't any clear evidence that having a Royal patron leads to greater financial rewards, the impact is hard to measure. Click here to read more...

Missed our last few newsletters?

September 12, 2022 - Victory Gardens Terminates All Staff, A New Broadway Season is Underway

Last week, the Board of Directors at Victory Gardens opted to terminate their full staff and change the fundamental direction of an institution that was, for a long time, a very important incubator of new work. This is the latest development in a sweeping labor reset taking place across the industry, and after a series of victories for the labor movement, what feels like the first set back in asserting the rights of workers in the performing arts industry. In the UK, the West End paused to remember the Queen, and in New York, a new theatre season is underway. Click here to read more...

September 6, 2022 - No Good Answer on Masks, New Funds for Upgrades in London

As we enter the unofficial start of the fall season, theatre companies across the globe continue to grapple with some of the earliest questions posed upon reopening: what to do about masks? As more mixed policies come into play, we continue to see that there are segments of the audience that won't come with masks, and segments that won't come without, putting producers in a difficult position. This layers into new numbers from theatre groups in the Berkshires that indicate their audiences were down across the board - and point to a newly emerging trend: late cancellations of tickets and no-shows resulting in more empty seats in the audience than anticipated. Click here to read more...

August 29, 2022 - Using the Arts to Fund the Arts? Edinburgh Sees Large Ticket Sale Drop

As summer comes to a close, many regional theaters are preparing to get their new seasons started - for many, this season still carries with it a lot of risk - some of the shows in their season are still shows they had intended to do at some point during the pandemic, and segments of the audience are still hesitant to return to their seats. For some, like Triad Stage in North Carolina, this is a moment of return not only from the pandemic, but from other scandals and self-examination that nearly destroyed the company. There, the board of directors was willing to put in the work to make changes, and as they prepare to re-open their doors the question will be if that effort has actually brought about change. In Edinburgh, the fringe continues to see pressures from many externalities resulting in the dual problem of increased costs for performers as well as decreased numbers of ticket buyers. Click here to read more...

BroadwayWorld Resources

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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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