Industry Pro Newsletter: No Good Answer on Masks, New Funds for Upgrades in London

Ars Nova Launches a Pay-What-You-Wish Initiative for Their Upcoming Season

By: Sep. 06, 2022
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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.

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Industry Trends

AEA and the Broadway League Will Negotiate on NDAs

​​The Broadway League and Equity have a formal agreement to talk about NDAs in future union contracts. Prior industry reporting erroneously claimed that the League had agreed to stop using nondisclosure clauses in contracts or riders for purposes other than defending intellectual property, financial information, or in specific, authorized situations moving forward, but the two organizations have only agreed to hold talks so far. Click here to read more...

Producers Still Need to Decide What To Do About Masks

After the lengthy pandemic shutdown, the coronavirus is still a problem for arts presenters as they begin their second season. They are aware that some audience members will be put off by the need for masks at a time when they have disappeared from numerous other settings, while others will be reluctant to attend indoor performances if masks are not required. They run the danger of offending some ticket buyers no matter what they decide. Click here to read more...

Broadway/New York

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James Earl Jones Theatre to Be Officially Dedicated Next Week

The Cort Theatre, located at 138 West 48th Street, will be formally renamed the James Earl Jones Theatre on Monday, September 12, according to a statement from The Shubert Organization, Inc. A ceremonial dedication ceremony will be held on 48th Street to commemorate the theatre's completion following a $47 million repair and expansion of the facility. Press and selected visitors are welcome to attend the formal dedication ceremony. Special concerts, tours of the newly restored theater, and the unveiling of the new marquee will all be part of it. Click here to read more...

Ars Nova Announces Name Your Price Ticket Initiative

The What's Ars Is Yours: Name Your Price ticket initiative is being introduced as part of Ars Nova's 20th Anniversary Season. All season long, patrons can select their own price for tickets to any performance, including the two Off-Broadway performances by Ars Nova at Ars Nova @ Greenwich House. This ticket initiative, honoring the theater's 20th anniversary, is an expansion of the organization's long-running ticket subsidy program and is based on Ars Nova's mission to make smart, surprising new work from New York City's most promising emerging artists accessible to the next generation of theatergoers. Click here to read more...

Broadway Investment Fund Under Investigation By the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into the managing partners of a fund that invests in Broadway plays after they did not comply with a subpoena. The SEC claimed in a lawsuit filed on Thursday in Manhattan federal court that it was looking into whether Broadway Strategic Return Fund LP's Curtis Wayne Cronin and John Joseph violated federal securities laws by giving current and potential investors false information about how the funds' assets are valued and whether the company was under investigation. Click here to read more...


The Zach Theater logo, with white letters on a black background

Jamie Herlich Mclalwain Named New Managing Director of ZACH Theatre

The native of Seattle has a rich history working with theaters and performing arts institutions like Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle Rep), Seattle Opera, Edmonds Center for the Arts, and New Century Theatre Company. Herlich Mclalwain held the positions of director of development and chief advancement officer at Seattle Rep. She received an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and serves on the board of Theatre Communications Group. Click here to read more...

In The Berkshires, Another Summer of Lower Attendance Numbers

Internal data from the county's largest performing arts institutions reveal a 30-percent fall in ticket sales and attendance from 2019. This is despite efforts to adjust to the post-pandemic era-reduced budgets, discounts, or streaming performances-since 2019. Last-minute cancellations or no-shows this summer resulted in smaller than anticipated audiences, despite strong advanced sales, at places like the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jacob's Pillow, and Barrington Stage Company. Click here to read more...

Matt Shakman to Depart the Geffen

Matt Shakman, the artistic director of The Geffen Playhouse, revealed on Wednesday that he will leave his position at the end of February. Before leaving, Shakman, a director for both television and movies, will plan the company's 2023-2024 season. After that, he intends to stay on the board. Shakman admitted that juggling his work in theater with his film and television projects was becoming more difficult. Following the success of "WandaVision", which he directed and executive produced, h e is now in talks to helm Marvel's "Fantastic Four" revival after just leaving a job directing the upcoming "Star Trek" film. Click here to read more...

Alexander Diaz Appointed Executive Director of Bergen Performing Arts Center

Prior to this appointment, Diaz served as the Performing Arts School's Director of Education and Outreach at bergenPAC. During his time, he showed his capacity for leadership at a pivotal moment when the epidemic first broke out. As one of the first schools to switch all pupils to virtual instruction, Diaz kept up their much needed arts education initiatives. Click here to read more...


Attempting to Tour with a Reduced Carbon Footprint

Many businesses and live music touring organizations are attempting to lower their carbon footprints as touring resumes following the pandemic pause. One example is Bell Shakespeare, which has been performing annual national tours for years. A key stop on a four-month tour of every state and territory capital and more than a dozen regional centers, it has brought its production of The Comedy of Errors to Sydney. Every year, company employees, crew, and actors log hundreds of thousands of miles in cars and air travel; in 2019, they flew or drove 650,000 miles. Click here to read more...

Edinburgh Fringe Audiences Are 99% White

After a recent article in The Stage put forth that audiences at Edinburgh are 99% white, Anya Ryan, a South Asian critic, wrote about her experience at the Fringe this year for The Guardian. Click here to read more...

London Pledges £1.2 Million To Energy Efficiency For Creative Spaces

In response to rising heating costs, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has committed £1.2 million to assist theaters and other creative facilities in becoming more energy efficient. Only authorities within Creative Enterprise Zones will have access to the fund. To assist organizations combat the burden of growing heating costs, grants of up to £200,000 will be made available to invest in practical solutions that will increase energy efficiency. Click here to read more...

Missed our last few newsletters?

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...

August 22, 2022 - Where are the Audiences?

For all intents and purposes, the performing arts industry is back into the swing of things from a production standpoint - yes, there are still differing protocols in place, there are still risks from the virus, and some organizations are leading the way on institutional reform. But in general, theatres and arts organizations are back to producing seasons in the way that we were used to before the pandemic. However, the audience hasn't returned in the same way. In multiple articles in this week's newsletter, we examine the question from a few different angles - where has the audience gone, and how do producing organizations get them back? Click here to read more...

August 15, 2022 - Policies Diverge Across Regions, Why Theatres Need to Utilize TikTok

The industry is in a weird spot right now, and the stories in this week's newsletter highlight the divergent paths different segments of the industry are going down - first, a story about the necessity of TikTok, as well as a story of the cancellation of The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical Concert at the Royal Albert Hall amidst the recently filed copyright infringement suit against the creators. In another form of copyright infringement, Lin-Manuel Miranda issued a statement on the illegal production of Hamilton. Then, on Broadway The Kite Runner becomes the first show to create a mixed mask policy - with at least one performance per week designated a mask required performance - while the rest of Broadway remains mask optional. But in Washington, DC, the trade group there announced that masks would remain required. As the industry recovers and reforms, we'll continue to see these kinds of divides on the regional level, and we'll bring you coverage of those divides as they happen. Click here to read more...

BroadwayWorld Resources

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