Industry Pro Newsletter: Pulitzer Prize Eligibility Expands, San Francisco Theaters Explore New Leadership Models

Tarell Alvin McCraney takes over at the Geffen, and Cara Joy David looks at the Stage Doors of Broadway’s currently running plays.

By: Sep. 18, 2023
Industry Pro Newsletter: Pulitzer Prize Eligibility Expands, San Francisco Theaters Explore New Leadership Models

Pulitzer Prize eligibility has expanded, now including permanent residents and long-term U.S. artists, a significant shift outlined in The Guardian. In the regional theater landscape, celebrated playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney takes the helm as Artistic Director of The Geffen Playhouse. Lastly, The Seattle Times emphasizes the crucial significance of Fall 2023 for Seattle's arts scene, and The Stage reports on the Torch Theatre in Wales facing damaging cuts due to a funding deficit, calling for community support.

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Employment Opportunity

Company Manager (Kiser Theater) - Second Stage Theater

The Second Stage Theater General Management department is seeking a full time Company Manager for its off-Broadway productions of season at the Tony Kiser Theater, including Spain by Jen Silverman, the inaugural Next Stage Festival, and a new title to be announced. Reporting to the Associate General Manager, the Company Manager will be the primary liaison between the company and the General Management office and will support all administrative activities for each production. Click here to learn more…

Industry Trends

Pulitzer Prize Eligibility Expands for Non-U.S. Citizens - The Guardian

The Pulitzer Prize board has announced changes to the eligibility requirements for the Pulitzer Prize - opening eligibility to permanent residents and artists who have made the United States their longtime home. Click here to read more…

Authors Michael Chabon and David Henry Hwang Sue OpenAI Over Copyright - MSN

Renowned authors Michael Chabon and David Henry Hwang have filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, a leading artificial intelligence research organization. The authors allege that OpenAI's training data, and subsequent ability to summarize and write in the style of the author’s, violates their copyright. Click here to read more…

The Future of the Subscription Model in Theatre According to Patrons - Medium

In this insightful article, the author explores the future of subscription models in the theater industry, drawing from the perspectives of patrons. By examining feedback and preferences of theatergoers, the piece offers valuable insights into how theaters can adapt and improve their subscription services to attract and retain audiences in an evolving landscape. Click here to read more…

Broadway/New York

Industry Trends Weekly: Stage Door Behavior: The Plays by Cara Joy David

In May, I promised a series of stage door behavior stories. And then there were a lot of more timely stories to report on and, unfortunately, the next installment in the series got pushed. Now I can finally do the second installment, one on plays.

Obviously, the plays have changed since I started doing leg work for this story in April. And it is silly to talk about the stage door behavior of actors who are no longer part of the scene. But, before moving on to current stage door behavior, I need to make an exception for three ladies who have left Broadway. I wrote about this in the first installment, but I’ve seriously never seen anyone take the stage door, and her fans in general, as seriously as Jessica Chastain. During The Heiress, I saw her rushing to make half hour but stopping when someone yelled after her on the street. And the love and care she took with every single person at the stage door for A Doll’s House was really remarkable, especially given the draining nature of the show. We should all welcome her back always for that as well as her onstage performances. Rachel Brosnahan took over an hour to come out both times I was at The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, which is longer than anyone else. But she did stay and have a conversation with every single fan who waited—I told a producer they should sell tickets based on the fact that she’d dissect The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel episodes with audience members, because I heard her do that several times. Last but not least, D'Arcy Carden. Carden was in a comedy, The Thanksgiving Play, so it was easier to come off stage upbeat. The entire cast was so playful and talkative at the stage door that if this piece was done in May, I would have provided quotes from each of them. However, Carden really deserves a special shout out.

Carden has a very committed fanbase, many of whom are from A League of Their Own and call themselves the “Peaches” (as in the team) or the “Fruits” (a more inclusive name). Several of these fans connected online and then in person at the Hayes. There were people who saw The Thanksgiving Play a dozen times for her. It impressed me that many of them were so into the play they communicated with playwright Larissa FastHorse and recognized director Rachael Chavkin. But back to Carden. She averaged 45 minutes out there, sometimes standing outside for over an hour.

That isn’t longer than Chastain, but the thing is—no one was asking Jessica Chastain to put on Shrek ears. Carden generally had a smaller crowd, but she heard a lot more personal stories than Chastain. More people felt Carden was one of them; more people felt she had a monumental impact on their lives (at least judging from the stories I heard at the stage doors). With the exception of a few nights, Carden took every photo, made every birthday recording, Facetimed with family members when that was asked of her, and put on each accessory her fans requested. I went before nomination season and after, same behavior. The Carden fans were a community—they made and distributed friendship bracelets that eventually piled about a dozen deep. They traveled from all around the world. They made fan art. They gave her socks.

“My sister has a shrine to you,” one fan from London told Carden.

“Wow, that’s so nice,” she said earnestly, before adding with a laugh: “I hope I look good in the pictures!”

And all three of these ladies, saw everyone, not just the people closest to the barricade. I’ve long had a problem with only signing for the people at the barricade, or those close enough to get a Playbill over the barricade, because it encourages people to leave before the bows or not see the show. That said, I realize it takes a long time not to do that. Obviously, not everyone is going to be the person to invest that time. Let’s look at the folks in plays now. Story continues - click here to read more…

SWEENEY TODD Strips Down Friday Night Show Due To Set Malfunction - BroadwayWorld

A set malfunction occurred Friday night, leading the production to present a simplified, stripped-down version of the show. Click here to read more…

Out Of The Box Theatrics Selected To Operate The Former New Ohio Theatre - BroadwayWorld

Out Of The Box Theatrics has been chosen to operate the former New Ohio Theatre. This selection marks a significant opportunity for the theater company to contribute to the vibrant New York City theater scene, bringing fresh and innovative productions to the space. Click here to read more…


Industry Pro Newsletter: Pulitzer Prize Eligibility Expands, San Francisco Theaters Explore New Leadership Models

Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney Named Artistic Director of The Geffen Playhouse - BroadwayWorld

BroadwayWorld reports that acclaimed playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney has been appointed as the Artistic Director of The Geffen Playhouse. McCraney, known for his powerful and socially relevant works, will bring his artistic vision and leadership to this prominent Los Angeles theater, promising an exciting future for the venue and its audiences. Click here to read more…

Another SF Theater Is Ditching the Hierarchical Leadership Model - MSN

MSN Money discusses a San Francisco theater's decision to adopt a more collaborative and non-hierarchical leadership model. This move reflects a growing trend in the theater industry towards more inclusive and innovative ways of running organizations, fostering creativity, and empowering artists. Click here to read more…

Denver Theater Companies Rebuilding Audiences - Westword

Westword explores how Denver theater companies are working to rebuild their audiences after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The article highlights the creative strategies and adaptations these theaters are making to reconnect with their communities and reignite interest in live performances. Click here to read more…

Seattle's Arts Scene: Why Fall 2023 Starts a Season That Will Be Crucial - Seattle Times

The Seattle Times discusses the significance of the Fall 2023 season in Seattle's arts scene. It marks a pivotal moment for the city's cultural institutions as they navigate the ongoing impact of the pandemic, make adjustments, and strive to engage audiences with exciting and meaningful artistic experiences. Click here to read more…


Torch Theatre Warns of Damaging Cuts to Programme Following Funding Deficit - The Stage

The Torch Theatre in Wales has issued a warning about potential cuts to its program due to a significant funding deficit. The theater, located in Milford Haven, is facing financial challenges, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its efforts to adapt and generate income during the pandemic, the Torch Theatre has experienced a £190,000 funding gap. This deficit could result in reduced programming and the loss of vital community initiatives. The theater is appealing for additional support and engagement from the local community to help bridge the financial gap and ensure its continued contribution to the arts and culture in the region. Click here to read more…

Missed our last few newsletters?

September 11, 2023 - Bay Area Children's Theatre Bankruptcy, Santa Cruz Shakespeare Thrives

This week, we invite you to nominate your favorite shows for the 2023 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards—as nominations open today and voting will begin later this fall. Cara Joy David takes us into the bankruptcy proceedings at Bay Area Children’s Theatre, and we look at leadership changes in Seattle, the reopening of Raue Center for the Arts, and what the secret sauce might be that is helping Santa Cruz Shakespeare thrive. In the UK, we celebrate the conclusion of our coverage of the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe, and look at infrastructure issues causing theatres to close. Click here to read more…

September 5, 2023 - Broadway Lawsuit Updates, Steppenwolf Lays off Staff Members
In this edition, we explore the evolving landscape of the theater world, from the challenges theaters face in retaining subscribers to the crucial role of touring physical therapists in supporting theater professionals on the road. We also dive into recent legal dramas within the industry and discuss the changing dynamics of off-Loop theater in Chicago. On the international front, we explore fundraising efforts in the UK arts sector led by none other than Vogue Editor Anna Wintour. Click here to read more…

August 28, 2023 - UK Theater System Faces Collapse, New Leadership at Theatre Philadelphia

In this week's newsletter, we delve into the challenges plaguing both American and UK theaters. As theater professionals often compare the two systems, we uncover striking similarities amid their struggles. From dwindling public funding and corporate sponsorship decline to artistic leaders leaving and a shrinking arts journalism landscape, both sides of the Atlantic are grappling with a crisis that transcends national boundaries. The spotlight is on the changing theater infrastructures and the critical need for sustained support to ensure the survival of these cultural bastions. Explore the latest updates on theater unionization, legal outcomes, leadership transitions, and more. Click here to read more…

BroadwayWorld Resources

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Should SHUCKEDs Unusual Path to Broadway Be Replicated? Photo
Should SHUCKED's Unusual Path to Broadway Be Replicated?

When SHUCKED opened on Broadway last week, it marked the first time a musical that tried out in Utah made it to the big time. We hear a lot about the more mainstream regional tryout venues—La Jolla Playhouse, the Old Globe, 5th Avenue Theatre—but very few producers utilize lesser-known non-profits to try out their shows.

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