Welcome to The Producer’s Perspective, my free blog about how to produce theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and beyond!
My name is Ken Davenport. I’m the Producer of three Off-Broadway shows currently running in New York City: Altar Boyz, The Awesome 80s Prom and My First Time. I was also a Producer of Broadway’s Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, You’re Welcome America starring Will Ferrell, and Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury, and was a producer of 13 on Broadway. (I’m also the Producer from that iPhone commercial).
Prior to my career producing theatre, I spent ten years as a Stage Manager, Company Manager and General Manager for a number of Broadway Shows and Broadway National Tours such as Gypsy, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Chicago, and many more.
I started this blog for anyone that is interested in the art of producing on or Off-Broadway. Maybe you’re a Writer, an Artistic Director, or a General Manager that wants to learn more about producing theatre on Broadway or Off Broadway, or maybe you want to be the next David Merrick or Cameron Mackintosh. As you probably already know, there aren’t many places that teach you how to produce theatre on Broadway or Off-Broadway or anywhere for that matter!
There is the Commercial Theater Institute (which I’m a huge fan of), but if you’re not in New York City, then the Commercial Theater Institute is not an option. There are graduate programs that offer masters in arts administration, but for what you pay in tuition at those schools you could produce a small scale Off-Broadway show yourself (and maybe even learn more)!
Reading my blog will give you some insight into producing theatre and the issues that Broadway and Off-Broadway producers face on a daily basis. I blog about all aspects of the modern theatre, from choosing the title of your show to why Producers should do their advertising in house. From gossip on Elaine Stritch’s hair to the Broadway stagehands strike. And sometimes I give away free stuff. And my blog is lot cheaper than a masters in arts management, that’s for sure.
So sign up for free and start reading today. See you on the site!
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Ken Davenport is a Broadway and Off-Broadway producer. Recent Broadway productions include Oleanna starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, Speed-the-Plow starring Raul Esparza, Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America, Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury, and 13. Ken is the only independent producer to have had three shows running simultaneously Off-Broadway – Altar Boyz, The Awesome 80s Prom and My First Time. He was recently featured on a national commercial for Apple’s iPhone, named one of Crain’s “Forty Under 40” in 2008, and was dubbed the “P.T. Barnum of Off-Broadway” by The New York Times. He has written articles for Forbes, Mashable, Imedia and others.
Combined, Ken’s productions have grossed more than $100 million worldwide and are being produced internationally in over 25 countries including Germany, Mexico, France, and Korea.
While Ken has enjoyed the global success and enthusiasm surrounding his long-running productions of Altar Boyz, which he co-conceived, and The Awesome 80s Prom, which he wrote and directed, he raised the bar when he wrote and directed My First Time – the first-ever example of ‘Theatre 2.0.’ My First Time is an industry pioneer—it is the first play to rely on user-generated content, bringing to life some of the hysterical and heartbreaking “first time” stories submitted to a popular website of the same name. The “Virgins Get in Free” promotion Ken created for the opening received international attention from major media networks worldwide.
Ken’s blog, TheProducersPerspective.com, has been featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Gothamist, and many other online and print publications. He is also a founding member of the ITBA (Independent Theater Bloggers Association), and his company, Davenport Theatrical Enterprises maintains three industry-go-to websites: DidHeLikeIt.com, BestofOffBroadway.com, and BroadwaySpace.com – the only social networking site completely devoted to the Broadway community and its fans.
In September 2010, Ken created www.PeopleOfGodspell.com and announced that his upcoming Broadway revival of Godspell will be the first ever “Community-Funded” Broadway musical. His recently released iPhone app, At The Booth™, was on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” after they called it “ingenious! The best thing to happen to New York theater since, well, the introduction of the TKTS booth.” Other current projects include bringing the first ever revivals of both Godspell and A Few Good Men to Broadway, adapting the novel and film Somewhere in Time into a Broadway musical, launching his latest creative collaboration Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage, and a documentary on one of the top unsigned bands in the country – Red Wanting Blue. For more information on Davenport Theatrical’s projects, click here.
A Sturbridge, Massachusetts native, Ken was a child theatre actor who moved behind-the-scenes as a Broadway production assistant while he attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
After graduating from Tisch with honors, Ken held management roles on shows including Broadway’s My Fair Lady with Richard Chamberlain, Grease with Rosie O’Donnell, Damn Yankees, On The Waterfront, and Buskers; Tony Award-winning Broadway productions of Show Boat, Candide, Ragtime, Parade, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Gypsy starring Bernadette Peters; as well as the national tours of Jekyll & Hyde, Chicago, A Grand Night for Singing, and Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt, Deborah Gibson, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler.
Ken recently accepted the 2010 Award of Distinction from the Musical Theatre Society. He has also received the 2008 Spirit of Theatre Award from Theatre Resources Unlimited and the 2003 Acclaim Screenwriting Award for his television pilot, “I.C.A.”. He is a senior member of The Off-Broadway Alliance, a town hall-like forum for dialogue amongst the Off-Broadway community at large, as well as a member of The Broadway League (where he serves on the Digital Task Force) and The Off-Broadway League of Theatres and Producers. Ken also received a Tony Nomination for You’re Welcome America.
Throughout his career, Ken has been asked to speak to a variety of organizations on theatrical marketing and producing including the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the Center for Communication Studies, The Commercial Theatre Institute, Ticket Summit, The Independent Presenter’s Network, The TAMY Awards and Columbia University’s Graduate Program for Theatre Management and Arts Administration.
To view a company history, click here.