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Industry Insight - by Cara Joy David


How Jefferson Mays and the Design Team of A CHRISTMAS CAROL Are Making Holiday Magic PhotoHow Jefferson Mays and the Design Team of A CHRISTMAS CAROL Are Making Holiday Magic
by Cara Joy David - December 22, 2022

Broadway’s one-man A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring Jefferson Mays definitely managed magic. It is a rare show that leads even Broadway regulars to leave the theater going: “How did they do that?” BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD and some others have managed, but not many. This show did.
How Female Playwrights Are Making the Industry Better PhotoHow Female Playwrights Are Making the Industry Better
by Cara Joy David - November 18, 2022

Other than a handful of playwrights 30 and under, all the playwrights spoken to for this piece believe their sex has impacted their careers in the theater. Women feel that they have trouble getting in the room and being taken seriously once there. But there is something more, a sense that when things get really bad -- beyond mansplaining bad -- there aren't many people to turn to in the theater.
Where Are All of the Female Theatre Critics? PhotoWhere Are All of the Female Theatre Critics?
by Cara Joy David - November 11, 2022

In this, the second installment in our series on women playwrights, the playwrights speak about critical interpretation of their work and the lack of powerful female critics. Please read Part I here, which discusses the more general issues female playwrights face.
Stage Dooring (Re)Halted on Broadway; When Might It Be Back? PhotoStage Dooring (Re)Halted on Broadway; When Might It Be Back?
by Cara Joy David - November 7, 2022

Stage dooring. Fans love it. Actors are split, and were even before the pandemic. And then the pandemic hit. When Broadway returned, stage dooring did not. It was seen as too big a risk. But when New York County had a low community level of COVID-19 transmission, it was back. Read more about stage dooring in the Industry Insight here!
Women Playwrights Speak Out on Life in the Theater: Part 1 PhotoWomen Playwrights Speak Out on Life in the Theater: Part 1
by Cara Joy David - November 4, 2022

In this three-part series, BroadwayWorld spoke to over 20 female playwrights who have been produced in major NY theaters about what life in the theater is really like for them -- and what can be done to make it better.
Chet Walker's Impact Remembered by Broadway's Most Influential Dancers and Choreograp PhotoChet Walker's Impact Remembered by Broadway's Most Influential Dancers and Choreographers
by Cara Joy David - October 31, 2022

Dancer/choreographer/teacher Chet Walker - a Fosse dancer who later co-conceived FOSSE and choreographed the 2013 PIPPIN revival - died on October 21 from a glioblastoma tumor. Here, his legacy is honored by some of Broadway's most influential dancers and choreographers, including Sergio Trujillo, Andy Blankenbuehler and more.
Inside the Fight for Adult Dancers to Join Actors' Equity PhotoInside the Fight for Adult Dancers to Join Actors' Equity
by Cara Joy David - October 19, 2022

In August, when Actors’ Equity first announced it was seeking to represent adult dancers (aka strippers) at a California night club, many members expressed displeasure on social media.
GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR, The Behind-the-Scenes Battle Splayed Out In Public PhotoGOOD NIGHT, OSCAR, The Behind-the-Scenes Battle Splayed Out In Public
by Cara Joy David - October 9, 2022

It surprised the industry this week when playwright David Adjmi went public about his own tale of developing an Oscar Levant play with Sean Hayes – and not the one that will be seen on Broadway this spring. It has become a he said/they said battle, but BroadwayWorld has the most info in the war of words thus far, including emails between Adjmi and Hayes.
What Is Papering and How Does it Fill Seats on Broadway? PhotoWhat Is Papering and How Does it Fill Seats on Broadway?
by Cara Joy David - September 19, 2022

In all of Broadway’s efforts to promote accessible tickets, there is little talk of “papering.” There is good reason for this – if people capable of buying full-price tickets know that others are going to see a show for free, they won’t want to pay full price for that same show. What is papering and how does it work? We've got the scoop!
How to Invest in a Broadway Show PhotoHow to Invest in a Broadway Show
by Cara Joy David - August 15, 2022

We hear a lot about making Broadway accessible. Broadway ticket prices have outpaced inflation over the decades (by a lot) and cheap preview tickets were abandoned years ago, all leading to the impression that Broadway was not accessible for those with average, or below average, incomes. There have at least been attempts to combat that impression in recent years. But something that is still largely seen as an older rich people game is investing in Broadway. However, a bunch of people have been trying to change that in the last decade, with attempts heating up more recently.
Backstage COVID Protocols (And How They Have Changed) PhotoBackstage COVID Protocols (And How They Have Changed)
by Cara Joy David - May 25, 2022

Much publicity was given to the Broadway League’s decision to cease requiring vaccinations to enter a Broadway theater, but less attention was given to the behind-the-scenes changes that were implemented around that same time. They do not include changes to the vaccination requirement – Broadway union members still must show proof of vaccination. But there are some other changes that impact the lives of your favorites.
Industry Editor Exclusive: Unions Push Back on 'Closing' vs. 'Hiatus' for MRS. DOUBTF PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Unions Push Back on 'Closing' vs. 'Hiatus' for MRS. DOUBTFIRE
by Cara Joy David - January 15, 2022

Everyone knows it is tough times for the theater industry. Broadway’s indeed thankfully back, but amid rising Covid cases wreaking havoc on casts and keeping audiences away, the return has not been smooth. And now the theater industry has entered the cold winter months, traditionally tough times at the box office. So when the producers of MRS. DOUBTFIRE announced the show was taking a “hiatus” – as the press release read – from January 10 through March 14, theater insiders could understand why. But nothing is as simple as it seems. The decision shines a spotlight on the tense relationship between Broadway producers and Broadway’s 14 unions in these difficult times.
Industry Editor Exclusive: The Complicated Relationship Between Actors' Equity Associ PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: The Complicated Relationship Between Actors' Equity Association and Spanish Language Theatre
by Cara Joy David - June 28, 2021

It is 2021, but some in the Spanish speaking community still feel like they are not properly represented by Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). And they’ve been fighting for years. Strides were made at the delegate convention in late April, but there is still a distance to travel.
Industry Editor Exclusive: What's the Plan for Broadway's Return? The Broadway League PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: What's the Plan for Broadway's Return? The Broadway League, Producers & Insiders Speak Up
by Cara Joy David - April 8, 2021

We investigate what the plan is for the return of Broadway, with insight from the Broadway League, Broadway producers, industry insiders, and more!
Industry Editor Exclusive: Still No Gigs... So What Now? PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Still No Gigs... So What Now?
by Cara Joy David - October 12, 2020

The theater shutdown has been hard on everyone in the industry. That is true even of actors. While the average naïve reader might think of acting as a lucrative profession, many theater actors, especially New York-based ensemble members, dona??t typically have a lot of extra cash. Yes, even the lowest tier Broadway contract pays fairly well, but it is not as if the work is consistent. So what do those folks do now?
Industry Editor Exclusive: Behind the Unusual Tonys Race for Best Score PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Behind the Unusual Tonys Race for Best Score
by Cara Joy David - September 4, 2020

As readers know by now, the 2020 Tony Awards are going ahead based on a severely abbreviated season. Many were hoping there would be elimination and/or combination of categories to make them more competitive, but that announcement did not come as of the season’s final Tony Awards Administration Committee meeting. The existence of one category in particular has puzzled many: Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre.
Industry Editor Exclusive: Many Broadway Actors Face a New Loss... Health Insurance PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Many Broadway Actors Face a New Loss... Health Insurance
by Cara Joy David - May 1, 2020

One thing you want in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is health insurance. But many theater actors are in danger of losing theirs because of the theater shut down.
Industry Editor Exclusive: How Will Off-Broadway Non-Profits Survive? PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: How Will Off-Broadway Non-Profits Survive?
by Cara Joy David - March 27, 2020

This week, I asked representatives from ten theatrical nonprofits in New York to speak with me. Most said yes, but many asked to speak off-the-record because the situation is changing so rapidly they didn't want to be quoted on something that would be incorrect by the time the piece ran. Unlike my usual in the weeds piece, this is purposely a more reflective one.
Industry Editor Exclusive: Where Do Broadway Bootlegs Come From? PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Where Do Broadway Bootlegs Come From?
by Cara Joy David - February 28, 2020

This fall, I began looking into the overt sale of Broadway bootlegs. There were a couple of well-known sites selling them and I contacted the owners of those sites. They both pointed me to the website of an alleged 'international acclaimed non-profit' known as Iconic Arts. They had bought their bootlegs off of this site and simply resold them.
Industry Editor Exclusive: Jerry Herman and the Catalog He Leaves Behind PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Jerry Herman and the Catalog He Leaves Behind
by Cara Joy David - February 6, 2020

A producer cannot just license any property s/he wants. Yes, MAME is available for licensing on the Concord Theatricals website, but if I wanted to mount it on Broadway it would be a little more complicated than shelling out cash. Hurdles for non-professional productions are not substantial, but many professional productions require levels of permission. Jerry Herman, who passed away on December 26, 2019, was a man unlikely to give permission for professional productions of his shows unless he thought they would be good.
Industry Editor Exclusive: Broadway 'Blackouts' and Making Theatre More Diverse PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Broadway 'Blackouts' and Making Theatre More Diverse
by Cara Joy David - January 15, 2020

The discussion about how to get more diverse audiences--in terms of age, race, pretty much everything--in the theater has been going on for decades. Recently, this has led to a movement toward dedicated nights for members of a certain race or ethnicity.
Industry Editor Exclusive: The Evolution of Cell Phones Use at the Theater (And What  PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: The Evolution of Cell Phones Use at the Theater (And What to Do About It)
by Cara Joy David - October 10, 2019

Years ago, when the popularity of cell phones started exploding, theaters in other countries started experimenting with the idea of using signal jammers to prevent cell phone use in the theater. It never took off. And more and more people started using cell phones in the theater. There is the photo before, the texting during, the random cell phone ring and sometimes the recording of the performance. Most of it is not supposed to occur. We've all heard stories about performers stopping the show until phones are put away. But some wonder what can be done to stop it or even if it should be stopped.
Industry Editor Exclusive: The Rise of the Broadway Concert PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: The Rise of the Broadway Concert
by Cara Joy David - September 26, 2019

It used to be young Broadway performers rarely did their own shows, at least not in NYC. Some of them found a place-and there are examples to be cited for sure-but it wasn't all that common. The Laurie Beechman Theatre, downstairs at the West Bank, likely hosted the most. The more established music venues, such as Birdland, were for more established performers. While Joe's Pub was established for 'young artists' in 1998, it often didn't recruit from the Broadway stable. Some theater companies would host a pop-up night or series, but it usually wasn't more than that unless the performer would automatically attract a big crowd.
Industry Editor Exclusive: Filming a Broadway Show From Your Seat - Is It Ever Allowe PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Filming a Broadway Show From Your Seat - Is It Ever Allowed?
by Cara Joy David - August 23, 2019

Last week, many fans who couldn't fit in the theater got to enjoy part of the final performance of THE PROM courtesy of Beth Leavel's personal publicist. Lisa Goldberg, founder of her own LSG Public Relations, put up on her social media pages two-minutes-20-seconds of Leavel singing the song 'The Lady's Improving' with a note that said she recorded six minutes ('including 1.5 minutes of entrance applause') and 'received full permission to post.' The shaky video was clearly shot from a seat in the theater, which would generally be forbidden if there was no permission. So what kind of permission do you need to do this in a Broadway show? Well, it is more than a 'sure' from a producer.
Industry Editor Exclusive: Closing Time on Broadway PhotoIndustry Editor Exclusive: Closing Time on Broadway
by Cara Joy David - August 8, 2019

Of course, everyone has been freaking out about the amount of closings announced in recent months. From the acclaimed musical THE PROM to the cult show BE MORE CHILL to the big-budget musicals KING KONG, PRETTY WOMAN and THE CHER SHOW, it's a rough time to be a producer of tuners. But rather than wondering why so much is closing, my first thought was: a?oeWhy mid-August?a?? After all, Labor Day weekend (or slightly after) used to be the preferred time of slaughter. Producers would ring every last bit of summer tourism buck before shuttering. This year the shows are going out this month, August 11 and 18. That is because sales are dropping off after that point. But why? Most say it is the shifting of school start dates earlier.

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