Industry Insight - by Cara Joy David

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Industry Insight - by Cara Joy David

Industry 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?
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
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
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 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
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 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
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.

Industry Editor Exclusive: The Return of TheaterWorksUSA Summer Theatre
by Cara Joy David - June 24, 2019

Last year many families were disappointed by the lack of TheaterWorksUSA free summer theater, which had become someone of a New York City institution. This year it is back, sort of. During the week community partner groups will be able to see DOG MAN: THE MUSICAL for free (or almost free); average weekend theatergoers will pay.

BWW Exclusive: David Petro's Broadway Break Thru Failed to Pay Instructors, Suspends College Program for 2019
by Cara Joy David - April 10, 2019

The theater community spans across the world, but it is famously small. So when you don't pay people who works for you, it tends to get out, especially if those folks have Broadway connections. Such is the pickle that former performer and casting director David Petro seems to have found himself in. He allegedly hasn't paid various people who worked for him teaching master classes and word is now spreading.

BWW Exclusive: The Race for Best Revival of a Musical
by Cara Joy David - April 8, 2019

For a while, it seemed like we might only have one musical revival, the Roundabout Theatre Company production of KISS ME, KATE. Then a transfer of critical darling OKLAHOMA! was announced for the Circle in the Square, adding some excitement to the Tony race. This excitement is not just over which of these revivals will win, but rather whether there will be a Best Revival of a Musical award at all. All signs point to yes, though it is not a definite.

Industry Editor Exclusive: Women Playwrights Make Inroads, But Broadway Still Eludes
by Cara Joy David - January 1, 2019

We have a lot of new plays on Broadway this season. Thirteen are currently set. There are also seven play revivals. Two of the new plays were written by women--both produced by non-profits and both already closed. Not one revival is of a play written by a woman.

Industry Editor Exclusive: Givenik- Broadway's Way to Give Back
by Cara Joy David - December 24, 2018

Ten years ago, Jujamcyn Theaters founded Givenik, a service that enabled ticket buyers to give a little back to charity when buying tickets to a show.

Industry Editor Exclusive: BAT OUT OF HELL and the Tour That Never Was
by Cara Joy David - November 20, 2018

It was around 3pm on November 1, 2018. The members of the company of BAT OUT OF HELL, which was in the midst of an engagement at Toronto's Mirvish Theatre, received a text saying there would be a company meeting at 7pm. Nothing good ever comes of those; veterans knew there was something up. Once gathered, the Company Manager told them the bad news: the tour was ending where it began, in Toronto. The final performance there was to take place, as scheduled, two days later. The rest of the stops had been cancelled. Their futures were now uncertain. The night they were told that news, one actor broke his hand during the performance, another his foot.

Industry Editor Exclusive: Tony Awards Voting and the Flaw in the System
by Cara Joy David - November 2, 2018

The Tony Awards policy has always been that in order to vote in a certain category, you needed to have seen all the shows nominated in that category. If, for example, you missed one show that was nominated in eight categories, those eight categories were off limits to you. Makes sense and seems a simple enough rule to remember. Except folks have constantly complained that people violate the policy and just vote regardless.

Industry Editor Exclusive: A Paperless Broadway- Technology in the Rehearsal Room
by Cara Joy David - October 19, 2018

Theater folks are not necessarily the first to embrace change or technology. So it's not surprising when you walk into a rehearsal room and see creatives sitting with giant binders of paper. But certain companies are trying to change that.

Industry Editor Exclusive: Revival(s) on the Horizon
by Cara Joy David - October 1, 2018

We are still fairly early in the Broadway season, but it is never too early to start thinking of the Tony race. And what do people seem to be focused on? Whether the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of KISS ME, KATE, which is currently the only announced musical revival, will simply be handed a Tony.

Industry Editor Exclusive: The Fate of Broadway's Critics
by Cara Joy David - August 21, 2018

In the last few decades, theater has become much bigger business than it used to be. However, in that same period of time, the coverage of it in mainstream media outlets has dwindled. Many of us may not remember a time that off-Broadway openings were covered on Entertainment Tonight, but it happened. In recent years, even in America's theater epicenter, theater is losing ground in major publications. Neither The New York Post or The New York Daily News has a critic on staff any longer. It is hard to even tally the amount of veteran theater writers from around the country that have lost their jobs in the last decade.

Industry Editor Exclusive: TheaterWorksUSA's Summer Vacation
by Cara Joy David - August 1, 2018

If you have kids, or just a love of children's theater, you may have noticed that TheaterWorksUSA-and, yes, after a rebranding, that is how to write it-is not presenting its free summer theater in New York this year. The program has happened almost every year since 1989, but not this one.

Industry Editor Exclusive: New York Stage and Film- Broadway's Upstate Playground
by Cara Joy David - July 9, 2018

What do HAMILTON, THE HUMANS, DOUBT, SIDE MAN, THE WOLVES and AMERICAN IDIOT all have in common? They all started with New York Stage and Film (NYSAF). Since 1985, the non-profit's summer program, set at Vassar College, has presented a variety of readings, workshops and productions of in-development works.

Industry Insight Tony Awards LIVE Blog
by Cara Joy David - June 10, 2018

Industry Editor Exclusive: The Trouble with Late Seating
by Cara Joy David - June 19, 2018

We've all had it happen--we're sitting in the theater, we're enjoying a scene and half a row in front of us gets up because of the arrival of a latecomer. You think: 'Can no one stop these people?'

Industry Editor Exclusive: The Year Away for FringeNYC
by Cara Joy David - May 8, 2018

When FringeNYC announced in fall 2016 that it would take a year off, some wondered if it would come back. After all, since the festival began in 1997, many others have sprung up around the city. Was there really a need for it? FringeNYC producer The Present Company believes there is.

Industry Exclusive: Solving This Year's Biggest Tony Nomination Mysteries
by Cara Joy David - May 1, 2018

As we enter into this, the most industry of all industry times, there are some Tony related questions that many believe need answering.

Industry Editor Exclusive: THE STONE WITCH- Donations to a Non-Profit with a Commercial Upside
by Cara Joy David - March 30, 2018

Very rarely do you hear of new ways to invest in, or contribute to, the theater. Something surprised me recently however--on the website for the off-Broadway commercial production of THE STONE WITCH, you can make a tax deductible donation to the Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) and have the money go to THE STONE WITCH. According to producers Laura Janik Cronin and Darlene Kaplan, the money goes not to increase BTG's share of the profits, but rather to keep the show afloat.

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