Our audience isn’t the only thing on Broadway that is getting older.
The “graying” of audiences has been of concern to arts producers of all kinds for years. The big question has been. . . what happens when that audience disappears? And will there be another to replace it?
Today’s kids are growing up with many more entertainment options, and they are participating in the arts less and less, which might mean smaller audiences in our future.
But that’s not what this blog is about.
I was at an opening night recently and I scanned the room and looked at all the producers, investors, angels, backers, or whatever you want to call them.
And I realized very quickly that they were graying too.
Makes sense, right? Those that back Broadway musicals are usually just passionate theatergoers with even more disposable income than the average ticket buyer, and with more of a tolerance for risk with their investments.
But if they are graying too . . . what happens when these investors disappear? Will their children carry on the tradition? Are we doing enough to cultivate a new generation of Broadway backers?
Non-profits do this better than the commercial theater, with programs specifically designed to get the younger patron on the backing bandwagon, so they will support the company for years.
The commercial theater needs to catch up and create ways to inspire a new generation of investors.
I’ve got an idea. Make it less of a long shot to make some money and prove to them it’s possible with statistics, and they’ll come running and funding . . . no matter what color hair they have.
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