Yes, it’s true.  We’re doing it.

But before I go into the details, here’s the backstory.

The world of financing projects of all shapes and sizes has been changing at an alarming rate over the last decade.

Thanks to entrepreneurs like Guillaume Colboc and Benjamin Pommeraud, as well as my bloggin’ hero Seth Godin and his book Tribes, the guys at Kickstarter.org and, of course, the King of Crowd-Funding himself, Barack Obama, a new era in bringing people with a common vision together has been born.

We’ve even talked about it on this blog on several occasions . . . and we’ve even wondered, “Can we apply this to Broadway?”

Well, guess what?  We can.  It just took a few extra lawyers and a few extra hours to figure out a new way of doing things.  (I even had to pass a Series 63 Exam to become a Securities Agent!)

So, it is with great pleasure that I officially announce to all of you first, that my upcoming Broadway revival of Godspell will be the first-ever Crowd-Funded, or as I like to call it, “Community-Funded,” Broadway musical.

To be honest, I’ve had this idea for several years, but I was just waiting for the right show.  And Godspell is the perfect show for this concept.  As Stephen Schwartz said to me, “Godspell is essentially about a community of people coming together.”  It just makes sense to bring together the largest community of Producers ever to mount this historic 40th Anniversary production.

As you know, investing in a Broadway musical is something that is usually only available to a select group of people at very high investment thresholds.

But everywhere I go, I meet people who I know would love the opportunity to invest in a Broadway musical and become Broadway Producers themselves, despite the obvious risks, if they only knew how, and if only the entry point was more affordable.

Godspell is for all those people.

Traditionally, the price of one investing unit in a Broadway show has been as high as $10,000, $25,000 or even $100,000.

One unit in Godspell is only $100.  (FYI, there is a minimum purchase of 10 units per investor)

Now, in the subject of this post I said this show had your name on it.  Here’s how:  

Each investor
in Godspell shall receive a limited liability company interest in The Godspell, LLC,
per our Offering Circular as qualified with the Securities and Exchange
Commission of the United States.*

In addition, every single investor, no matter how much he or she invests, will have his or her name listed on a poster outside of our Broadway theater.

Yep, you’re going to get billing.

And every single investor will also have their name listed on a new website created exclusively for this community, PeopleofGodspell.com, as well as his or her photo, hometown, a quote, and links to their Facebook and Twitter profiles. 

What do you think?  Fun, right?

There may even be opportunities for opening night performance and gala tickets, complimentary tickets to previews, invitations to private cast functions and more.

If you’re interested in joining me and the other members of the community in this incredibly unique and historic production, visit www.PeopleOfGodspell.com today or click here.  Please note, this is a limited offer because there is only a finite quantity of units available.  If you are interested, I encourage you to contact me through the link above as soon as possible.  I’ve announced it publicly here on my blog first, so that my readers could have the first opportunity to participate . . . after all, our conversations helped inspire it.

Click here to learn more about joining the community.  And maybe I’ll see you on opening night!

Oh, and yes, every investor gets one of the buttons in this photograph.

Join The People of Godspell today.  It’s the first ever Community Produced Broadway Musical.

- – - – -

I need to thank those few extra lawyers at Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell and Vassallo and Reitler, Kailas & Rosenblatt, LLC who put in the few extra hours to make this possible.  Sure, at first they told me several times that it couldn’t be done, but then they rolled up their sleeves and jammed it out!  Thanks, guys and dolls.

Oh, and speaking of lawyers, here begins the important disclaimer section of this post in regards to our offering:

*The Securities and Exchange Commission does not pass upon the merits of the
Units or the terms of the offering, nor does it pass upon the accuracy or
completeness of the Offering Circular or any sales literature. The Units are
offered under an exemption from registration; however the Commission has not
made an independent determination that the Units are exempt from registration.
The Attorney General of the State of New York does not pass on the merits of the offering. The New Jersey Bureau of Securities does not pass on the merits of the offering. THIS IS NOT AN OFFER TO SELL OR A SOLICITATION TO BUY ANY UNITS. This website is intended for general information purposes and the information on this website neither is, nor should be construed, as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any Units of Godspell LLC and may not be relied upon in connection with the purchase or sale of any Unit. It is not a summary or a compilation of all information relevant to making an investment decision to purchase the Units. To obtain further information, you must complete our investor questionnaire and meet any suitability standards required by law. Any offering or solicitation will be made pursuant to an Offering Circular, and the subscription documents, all of which should be read in their entirety.
 
Investment in the Godspell LLC involves a high degree of risk, and investors should not purchase Units unless they can afford to lose their entire investment.  Please see “Risk Factors” beginning on page 14 of the Offering Circular to read about important risks that prospective investors should consider before purchasing units.
 
Please note that these Units for The Godspell LLC are being offered and sold in: CA, CT, GA, IL, MA, MI, MN, NJ and NY. Except for the aforementioned states, (i) the Units are not being offered, directly or indirectly, to residents of any state in the United States or outside of the United States, (ii) information in this email pertaining to the offering of Units is not being specifically directed by, or on behalf of Godspell, LLC, to any person of any state in the United States or outside of the United States. No sales of any Units shall be made in any state, jurisdiction or territory in the United States or outside of the United States unless (i) the offering has been registered in such state, jurisdiction or territory and an Offering Circular has been delivered to the investor prior to such sale, or (ii) the sales are exempt from registration.
 
We may seek to register the offering of Units in such additional states as we may determine from time to time.  Please click on the link above to contact us for further information about whether or not Units may be sold to residents of your state.
 
Construction of the disclaimers above and resolution of disputes regarding such disclaimers are governed by the laws of the State of New York without regard to conflict of laws provisions thereof.  The laws of the State of New York shall apply to all uses of this site and the information contained in this site.

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37 Responses to The 1st ever Crowd-Funded Broadway musical. And it’s got your name on it.

  1. David says:

    Wow.
    That best sums up all I am thinking right now.
    Oh, and you are heroic.

  2. Melissa says:

    I think this is such a smart idea! Why is the minimum $1000, though? I think you might have more fans with a steak in the show both financially and emotionally if they could purchase 1 unit. I know I’d invest without question if that option was available…

  3. Jason Epperson says:

    This is so cool.

  4. Erin says:

    This is amazing. I often advocate investing in equities with small amounts of money and I love seeing the opportunity on Broadway. I am definitely interested.

  5. Michael Landman says:

    Great idea. Before I invest I’d like to learn more about the product — who’s on the production team? What’s the target opening date? Budget? Theatre? … thanks!

  6. Jason Epperson says:

    Ok this is so cool I have to comment a second time. What I love about this is that some of these articals that are profiling this (WSJ, Crain’s) are quoting other producers that are calling you (Ken) brilliant. But it’s not brilliant, at all. It’s not even a new idea. It’s pure perseverence. We have all of these stupid rules and ways things are done in this industry, and it’s just going out there and doing it when others say it can’t be done. Even the freeking lawyers! I bet lots of producers have wanted to do this, gone to the lawyers, and they said “it can’t be done” so they didn’t push it. Many at Disney said the same to Michael Eisner about The Lion King. He was so thrilled with the success of Beauty and the Beast he insisted on putting The Lion King on Broadway. His own theatrical division said it was a bad idea, but he said “I’m not asking if we should do it, I’m telling you to do it.” Balls. That’s what it takes to be a producer, and Ken you’ve got ‘em.
    Plus, not only is this a whole NEW way of getting people involved in Broadway at the business end, it’s also a way to actually get back to the OLD roots of producing. If the cards are played right, Ken could be the one and only decisionmaker at the table! It could be a path to a return to the brazen, from the gut producing style of Hal Prince, Stuart Ostrow, David Merrick, Cameron Mackintosh, et al. I firmly believe that shows can be so much better when they aren’t produced by committee. When you see all of these posters with this info and that info and this tagline and 7 quotes, it practically screams committee. 6 people saying well lets ad this and change that color and move that until everyone is happy with a compromise. It’s like having 6 directors co-direct a show. When you look at the poster for a Cameron Mackintosh show, it’s so sleek, there is almost no information, just a bold, striking image that instantly hooks you. That’s producing from the gut.
    Jumping off the soapbox.

  7. Derek says:

    This is really the silliest idea ever. Producing a musical or play is a hands on role and I highly doubt you will allow all of your investors a way to be involved in the process, right? I like your idea, but it just doesn’t work for me. Theatre is a collaborative effort…not a passive situation like you’re making it to be. I might be wrong, though…best of luck.

  8. Thanks for that, Jason. That means an awful lot!

  9. Only one way to find out, Derek! :-)

  10. Derek says:

    Not sure what side you are on. This project sounds like a pipedream at best. I’m sure Ken will (deservedly) get some press for his announcement, but I can’t imagine this thing working the way he wants.
    You talk about the “gut” producing style of Merrick and Mackintosh and Prince…those were all SINGLE producers. They had silent producers whose names didn’t appear on the posters, but they were very hands on. Ken’s idea seems to make producing a passive experience for people. And it’s not. Producing a show is much more work than writing a check and hoping for a return.
    Silliest idea ever.
    The end.

  11. Derek says:

    I do live in Illinois, so I guess I could find some friends and invest. I would need a lot more information, though. Most people are praising this idea from a few sentences in a press release. I’m a supporter, but a skeptic. Have to be honest, Ken.
    Also, I have to be honest (again) … is this the same revival that was planned for 2008 and then canceled. I know the same director is attached. Will this GODSPELL really happen? What’s to say it doesn’t work out? I realize that theatre is a gamble, but are your ducks in a row???

  12. Brooklyn says:

    My dream is to be a Broadway (or theatre) producer. I want to put on the shows I love and bring theatre to the people and just be part of something great that gives people joy and inspiration, but being a theatre producer isn’t easy when you’re from a cow town in Australia, and you have no excess money and no real theatre involvement or connections.
    I don’t know if your offer extends to Australia (maybe for legal reasons this can only be open to Americans) but this could be my only chance to ever get my name on Broadway, and $1000 (well, and the rest, the Aussie dollar is never as good as yours!) is a small price to pay I think. I mean yes, when I said I wanted to produce, I mean I wanted some creative control and everything, but having my name on a bonafide Broadway poster would be a dream come true.
    I know there are a lot of nay-sayers in this thread, but honestly, if this works, it will be an amazing opportunity for so many people who never thought they could ever be involved in something like this, and I for one thank you for the opportunity.

  13. Brooklyn again (who finally read the disclaimer) says:

    OH darn, I just read the fine print, bugger. I hate living in Australia, we miss out on all the good stuff.
    Oh well, maybe one day I will get a chance to do something like this.

  14. Kudos to you Ken, for not accepting “you can’t do it that way” from your lawyers, and for spending the extra time, effort (and I presume, money) to figure out a way.
    I’m really curious to learn more about the specific approach you’re taking, which exemption from securities registration is involved, etc.
    This could be the beginning of a new era in theatrical finance. Wouldn’t it be great to have a huge pool of investors, all talking about “their” show, promoting it, encouraging audience to see it, etc.?
    Thanks for blazing this trail!

  15. Kelleher Maher says:

    So my question would be is there the possiblity of return for each of these investments or is the “return” actually the appearance on the poster, the opening night invite, the button, etc? Because in most crowdfunding structures like kickstarter and I believe like the Guyom film mode, there is no possibility of a return of capital or a profit by the crowdfunders, which seems like it is something important to state up front.

  16. Yes, there is a possibility of a return. This is a for-profit crowd funded enterprise, and all the details are in the offering documents. Sign up to get all the important details!

  17. Jason Epperson says:

    I think you read both Ken’s post and my comment rather hastily. Ken is calling all of these people “producers” but in reality they are investors and have no actual involvement in the producing of the show. All Ken is doing is lowering the investment floor so many more people can invest, like investing in the stock market. He is the only “real” producer (I think) It took some jumping through SEC hoops to do I’m sure. My comment was clearly very supportive. I’m pretty sure that was obvious.

  18. Tracey says:

    Ken, there’s no question you are a visionary. I read your posts with great joy because you blow my mind, frequently.
    But I must say a word about this idea, revolutionary tho it is…
    What’s missing from the current theatre scene is producers willing to take a risk on unknown writers and shows. There are a few, but not enough. In the olden days (cue the music), then-unknown writers put on show after show (sometimes 10, sometimes 2 dozen!) and producers said “yes,” “yes,” “yes.” Yes, we will take a chance on you. Yes, we will try something new. Yes, we believe in your talent. Soon, those unknowns became our Rodgers and Harts, our Galt MacDermotts, our Meredith Willsons.
    Clearly, folks are taking a risk here, but it’s not an artistic risk, it’s just a few bucks. You’re missing half the job description — the part where the producer is a contributing artist to the show; where his or her vision shapes the future of commercial theatre.
    Why Godspell? What’s risky about producing a show that has been done in every church basement from Rochester to Seattle? Why not produce a new show? Even a new Stephen Schwartz show would be a tiny bit risky.
    You’ve got great courage and drive, Ken. I just want you to invest in the future of the theatre, not just re-do the past.

  19. Adam says:

    Cool idea! I hope it works out really well.

  20. Glauber Barceló says:

    Ken …you are just so f#%^&* brilliant . This is simply brilliant and amazing.
    Keep rocking !

  21. Julia Quinn says:

    Here’s why this is so terrific: Ken is giving every investor the title of “producer”, something of little value in real terms but presumably important to the recipient. When this is successful, thousands of people will become Broadway producers overnight, and eventually, the title will mean absolutely nothing. Then, hopefully, investors, who receive producer credit but do not actually produce, will realize it’s not worth asking for, since anyone can get it, and will let us (working producers) do our job which is to make money for them and treat them like investors.
    If that scenario doesn’t work out, and investors still insist on being called producers, I would send my investors to Ken for whatever show he is crowd-funding. As you can see, Ken can’t lose no matter what.

  22. Andre LaPlume says:

    A steak? Maybe a cutlet would be more successful?

  23. Addison DeWitt says:

    I’ve always wondered how I was going to get my Broadway revival of MOOSE MURDERS off the ground.
    Thanks, Ken!

  24. ebwally says:

    I second that emotion.

  25. Rick Baker says:

    I like this idea too. While part of me wishes this was an original new play being launched, I can see that using a major brand like Godspell helps with investor comfort and future audience awareness. On the other hand this is essentially a relaunch of a property that has had its run. But as long as the play concept has been revitalized and the promotion has been executed with imagination it has as good a chance of success as the next production.
    At least on a small level, I’m probably in for a unit or two. Just now reading the PPM.

  26. Alexis says:

    I first heard about the Godspell funding idea last year..and I thought it was genius!!! In a time when many people don’t have the discretionary funds they once had, this is a perfect way to raise money, interest and an audience. There are many people who want to be involved in producing theatre, but bank accounts don’t allow it and this is the way to get the tried and true gritty theater lover to be a part of it all. I had been working on raising money for an upcoming show and I pulled out because my conscience could not ask people 4 250,000.00 JUST for the workshop. I have raised money for other shows in other ways, but this idea really resonated with me.

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