The Sunday Giveaway: 1 Free Admission to TedX Broadway!

We’re 8 days and counting from the first ever TedX Broadway.

All of you should be going . . . and one of you, is going for free!

(If you don’t know what Ted is, check out Seth Godin’s blog about it just the other day.  If you don’t know who Seth is, then read this book, and watch your marketing/product development improve.)

On Monday, January 23rd, a few colleagues and I have asked a whole gaggle of super smart people to get together and answer this question, “What’s the best Broadway can be in 20 years?”  We have pricing experts, performance experts, audience experts . . . and even a few exclusive video appearances from Neil Patrick “I can host anything you can host better” Harris.  It’s going to be great . . . and I have a feeling we’ll all leave super excited about where we’re headed over the next 20 years.

You can read all about it, see some of the speakers and performers, and buy tickets (and there aren’t that many left) here.

(And there are also just 1-2 small sponsorship slots open as well, so if you or your co. is interested, email me.)

But how do you win the free ticket I’m giving away?

Start a sentence with the phrase, “In 20 years . . . ” and finish it by telling me one thing that will be different about Broadway in 20 years.

For example . . . In 20 years, eight shows a week will no longer be the norm.  In fact there won’t be a norm. Some will do ten, some will do nine, others will do four.

Ok?  Comment below and I’ll pick a winner.  And who knows, maybe we’ll incorporate the answers into the conference!


(Got a comment? I love ’em, so comment below! Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



– SEMINAR ALERT: Get Your Show Off the Ground Seminar: 2/18. Sign up today!

  • Jordan says:

    In 20 years Broadway will no longer be a luxury item. The rise in diversity and proliferation of minorities in the American identity will dictatate more pieces that appeal to niche audiences, colorblind casting, and work that expects to your internationally.

  • Anthony Russo says:

    In 20 years, Broadway will be run by the Glee generation and live theatrical performance will get another shot at being mainstream.

  • Jake says:

    in 20 years the star system will no longer rule

  • Luke says:

    In 20 years Broadway will once again become the most popular form of entertainment. With advances in special effects and lighting capabilities, Broadway will start to capture the film audience. I’m not saying make shows more like film. I’m saying make them more of visual spectacle like the most famous films (Titanic, Avatar) did. Getting James Cameron to do a few shows over here wouldn’t hurt 😉

  • Emily says:

    My hope is that in 20 years Broadway will be accessible to everyone. There will be an online network of full musicals & plays that have closed and accessible via a website that has a free & cost service.

  • Michael Reed says:

    In 20 years Broadway shows will be regularly distributed and sol in digital form so that a the show can be enjoyed (and bought) by people around the country long after it closes.

  • doug says:

    In 20 years, paper tickets will no longer exist and we will all check into the theatre with our smartphones with a bar code on it. Ticket pricing will be more dynamic and demand-based, and consumers will be able to see all the prices of all the seats in the house when buying their tickets. Shows will figure out how to sell their own tickets on their own, very popular and simple to maintain websites without the cost of a middle-man, but the middleman and secondary markets will continue to exist in harmony with the show’s own e-commerce sales driving stiff competition on admin fees and convenience fees and lower costs to the production company.

  • says:

    In 20 years funding for all shows, B’way and what we now all Off B’way, will be simplified. As a result it will be easier to mount shows that today are seen as risks. There will be more variety in what is offered. AND an educated audience will want to see a wide variety of offerings. Producers will not specialize in just one form of theatre but expand their offerings knowing that the essence of theatre is the heart to heart connection between audience and theatrical artist. Although theatre will take many forms, the experience of being in the same room as the event unfolds will continue to be our continuity and our strength.
    T. Cat Ford

  • In 20 years, Broadway will be present in the lives of all children. They will be raised by a generation who has been exposed to the current spread of musical theatre to the screen, changing the number of supporters indefinitely. Live theatre will become just as prominent in people’s lives as television, drawing in folks by implementing a multitude of writing techniques such as theatrical series. People will feel the compulsion to visit the theatre more often because the stories will captivate them, capitalizing on the theory of return viewers that has brought television to the level of success it has seen. We need to make it happen!

  • pato masera says:

    In 20 years Broadway Shows will have a more interactive and tech friendly approach to thew shows, due to attention expand and the new generatoion of artists, they will be shorter in lenghth, and though we will still see revivals they will be more daring both in subject matter as in their staging. Audiences would search for excitment and live interaction.

  • In 20 years Broadway will see more changes than it has in the last 20 years, and will likely be a more prominent choice for entertainment in American’s minds. More shows will be crowd-funded (it could even become the norm) and many of Broadway’s jobs will be held by the computer generation, so Broadway will be even more ever-present in social media and on the internet. Hopefully this will make it ever-present as an affordable option for the public, and help to fill theaters with diverse audiences.

  • Jon says:

    Honestly? In 20 years, Broadway won’t be doing so hot. There will be some new barrier or problem that the industry is going to have to face to have success on the Great White Way. The boom-and-bust nature of Broadway seems to run in 20 year cycles. The 70s and 90s saw a dramatic decrease in shows produced, and while all our theatres are full right now, the economy is making producing financially difficult. Contrast this to the British invasion of the mid-80s or the wealth of innovative theatre coming to Broadway in the mid-00s, and we will be in a great place in 10 years, but in 20 Broadway will be once again digging itself out of a trench. But, in 30 years we’ll come back even stronger.

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    In 20 years, the majority of today’s Broadway core audience will be dead. Same holds true for opera and classical music. o we must constantly think how to get the younger butts into the seats. And this does not mean every show has to be “Book OF Mormon” or Spamalot. The current revival of Godspell proves older shows can work. But the Sounds Of Musics ad Oklahomas of the world will struggle. Especially if we keep charging prices out of the range of most people. I hear so much complainig from friends about paying $12.00 for a movie ticket. Although they also admit that if most movies werent bad, they wouldnt mind.So I think in 20 years, there will be more research before a show is put on stage… how many performaces a week, would you see a show about this with this cast etc… FINALLY, in 20 years Broadway will be defined not as a twenty block radius, but as the nation and the world. There will be more pay-per-view events and that will mean bigger stars, bigger budgets and bigger profits.

  • MaddieOrton says:

    In 20 years Broadway will be more accessible through tiered show experiences. Audiences will continue to be able to purchase tickets for live performances, but will also have the option of attending simulcasts in major cities and live streaming performances online—all of which will help maintain reasonable ticket prices at theaters. To incentivize attending shows in person, performances will increasingly be marketed as experiences rather shows, and value will be added to these tickets through performer-audience interaction and audience conversation via future social media platforms. It’s going to be great!

  • In 20 years Broadway will focus more on environmental elements in live theater – in an age of ever-increasing digital community and electronic interaction, people will crave all the more the interaction and the sense of community/mutual investment that comes from live theater. There will be a greater need for people to feel involved in the productions as they feel increasingly uninvolved and disassociated from real flesh-to-flesh “analog” community.
    But the real reason I should win is not because of this prediction (despite my belief in it) – instead, it’s because I’m an Episcopal priest (and theater addict – and regular reader of this blog!) in Jersey City, NJ and *JUST THIS MORNING* I preached about Seth Godin’s blog post and about how the TED imperatives could revolutionize my parish’s understanding of what it means to be a more genuine community in an urban environment where experiences of community can seem rare. I have used TED in my preaching several times before, but the TED imperatives were so practical and applicable to our context! TEDx Broadway marries two of my greatest passions!

  • Meredith says:

    In 20 years we’ll see more diversity as the Broadway educational initiatives of the past twenty years start to pay off and the digital children of this generation crave social interaction on a different level.

  • John says:

    In 20 years people will still flock to Broadway for entertainment, but the the ticketing process will be much simplified – everyone will have access to pretty much the same ticketing information as everyone else, meaning a much more democratic ticketing process!

  • Gaby G says:

    There will be fewer shows, all of which will have virtual reality/hologram components.

  • Matt says:

    In 20 years, ticket buying will not be limited to such a small number of buying channels. Instead, I imagine it will be more like the travel industry’s buying options. Imagine sites like Kayak, Hotwire, and Orbitz for Broadway (Borbitz?), where customers can search by date/time/genre to see what shows are playing and at what price. Or, even better, Orbitz as it is, but instead of picking a car rental for your trip to NY, you can add a show to your vacation package.

  • Margie says:

    In twenty years there won’t be a Broadway show without a sound-surround and screen-surround 3D video component (no 3D glasses will be needed by then) projected both on the stage, on all the walls and on the ceiling, a coninuation of the set. There will be WIFI in the house so audience members will be able to attend the show using their own headphones and phone/MP3 for excellent sound quality. No more annoying buzzing headphones that the hard-of-hearing use or the sound of someone crackling a candy wrapper or coughing; everyone will be able to hear both the actors and the orchestra PERFECTLY, at their own personal volumn via the wifi feed. After the final curtain, the audience, instead of pushing each other in the aisle to get to the nearest cab, will instead file out slowly because they’ll be busy filling out an on-line questionnaire about their experience, the kind of shows they prefer, etc.; and they’ll agree to do this because one lucky winner each performance will have the chance, (by filling out the online form), to win a pair of tix to another Broadway show. PLUS with a quick click, as they’re leaving, if they still want “merch” or CDs, they’ll be able to purchase them at a discount by clicking NOW on their PDAs (of course the speed of connection will be SO FAST that by the time they get to the back of the orchestra, they’ll just flash a signal (showing they’ve paid) to a waiting usher who will hand them their purchase (kind of like speeded up duty-free at the airport). And in 20 years, NO ONE will ever miss part of the show because they are sitting behind a tall head, because there will be little TV screens on the back of each seat (except the front row), videocasting the show live, with a touchscreen so that audience members can zoom around up and down, left to right, wider and close-up as they can in an ipad or iphone.

  • In 20 years, playwrights and musical creators will incorporate audience electronic devices as part of their shows — viewers vote on different endings, or tweet changes that the cast incorporates as an improvisation, or send messages to one character to see how another character reacts.
    And in 20 years, there will be a live simulcast in movie theaters around the world called Saturday Night on Broadway, featuring a different show each Saturday night.

  • Michael L. says:

    In 20 years there will be more than one inspirational Broadway writing/producing/directing team who will create, in Ming Cho Lee’s words, “an arena where the great issues — of values, of ethics, of courage, of integrity and of humanism are encountered and wrestled with.”

  • En veinte anos Broadway will use advances in technology to translate shows’ dialogue in real time- including translating line flubs and allowing non-English speakers to hear punch lines with the rest of the audience. This will encourage non-English speakers to come to the theatre and expand audiences.

  • Sierra says:

    In 20 years actors will be able to don motion-capture suits and be able to perform any character they want to – the results will be projected into theaters nation-wide, in real time, melding real-life energy and 3D CG performance into one. Thus, in 20 years, James McAvoy will win a Tony for his portrayal of Lady Macbeth.

  • Sue says:

    In 20 years, seats in Broadway theaters will be wider with more leg room to accomodate ever-expanding Americans. As with movie theaters, Broadway theaters will be made more comfortable for the customers. Broadway producers will fully embrace the notion of putting the customer first. Those who now stay away because they do not want to pay high prices to sit squished against strangers will be enticed to see a live Broadway performance. Drink holders optional.

  • Jay Z says:

    In 20 years film & theatre will merge while more tech invades performance, giving rise to two main broadway entertainments: the 3d animatronic theme show type spectacle utilizing robotics, film, and a few live circus like performers that flawlessly replicate their parts night after night — and the reactionary response to this — total immersive live theater where characters, plots, and scenerios change nightly depending on audience involvement and choices and the whims of actors who live their characters so deeply that the line between what is real and what is performance completely vanishes. However, both will be packaged with such narrow clarity that the audience can select their desired resulting emotional state with ease.

  • Melissa says:

    In 20 years, audience members will be able to buy and carry tickets on their phones, like Groupons. There will also be listening devices so people can listen to the show in another language.

  • Dan Strader says:

    In 20 years (hopefully sooner), Broadway, Broadway producers, Theatre Presenters, and Agents will be re-living the great white way of ages past. Where true stars were made and NEW shows will be lining up the venues. The time of revivals only will be a thing of the past.

  • Robert says:

    In 20 years, Broadway will have a much more balanced appeal to the film and television industries. As a result, there will not only be more creative and riskier shows that are being produced on Broadway, but the Off-Broadway market will surge as well. With theater and music being influences in the types of film and television that are being produced today, Broadway will gain much greater recognition and support from the audiences that will be influential in 20 years.

  • Karen says:

    In 20 years from now, I will be able to watch a live Broadway show in the comfort of my home. It won’t matter if I’m in New York, Kansas, or some remote island. Some people can’t get to New York to enjoy a live show. Why not bring it to them. It would be pay per view and you can see any day or evening show. This would bring in much needed revenue for Broadway. Broadway would be able to bring the excitement of a live show to the homebound, people from far away lands and even bad weather won’t cause the audience not to show up. Moms with little children who can’t get out to see a show won’t have to worry about baby-sitters or keeping their kids quiet. Schools, acting classes can make it a learning experience. Movie night for a family can now be Broadway night. Intermission can be highlights for other shows the audience might want to see in the future or it could be highlights of how the show came together during rehearsals. Hey bloopers would be fun to watch. Of course there is nothing like being there live, but if done correctly it might just come close.

  • Jeffrey says:

    In 20 years, there will be a few additional theatres.

  • RJ Magee says:

    In 20 years Broadway shows will take on a more “episodic” format…this will be due to the continued growth in quality, popularity, and financial viability of television. Broadway plays and musicals will perform in installments and there will be “sequels” and “follow up episodes” to the same stories. Imagine subsequent trips to the theater to see what happened next to the characters in Other Desert Cities!!
    PS: I would really love to attend this conference.

  • Johnny P says:

    In 20 years??? 20 Years??? Isnt the world supposed to be ending soon?? I think thats what I just heard… IN 20 Years maybe Broadway and NYC will be under water.. ( I bet the Little Mermaid would be a bigger hit then)….
    Don’t mind me… very negative tonight..

  • Laura says:

    In 20 years, Broadway ticket prices will be greatly reduced and affordable to all, increasing the number of locals who go to theater in their day to day lives. Also, more stars and bigger directors will expand into off-and off-off Broadway theaters as well, enlarging audiences in even the smallest theaters, and making smaller productions more well known.

  • Katie O'Brien says:

    In 20 years the good ol’ fashioned musical will no longer exist; everything will be digitalized, like so many musicals are doing today. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing…but I’ll sure as hell miss the good ol’ days of Broadway.
    (PS. I was going to put “In 20 years Phantom will still be at the Majestic and not leaving anytime soon!” because I’m the biggest Phan ever, but nah, I decided against it XD)

  • Danny says:

    In 20 years, it will be the norm for Broadway shows to release a video recording of the show in the way that it is now the norm for a musical to release a cast album. It would be recorded with the original cast but not released until after closing night, so as not to compete with ticket sales. It would be an easy way for producers to continue making money on the property after the show has closed, and a way to preserve amazing performances forever. (And make them accessible to anyone anywhere, unlike the Lincoln Center archives.)

  • Adam says:

    In 20 years, you will be able to make more $$ by selling tickets to a live stream of Godspell onto any stage in the world, while patrons will watch Broadway actors in a hologram format!
    This is already projected for the 2022 world cup, no reason we can’t do it with Broadway.. You heard it here first!

  • Shaun Peknic says:

    In 20 years, Broadway theaters will have teleportation booths that will beam audience members in to see the shows from anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye.
    In addition to this, more people will realize that we do not need more spectacle to compete with TV and Film, but rather more theatricality, simplicity, and humanity. All of the people who ingest more and more info and technology in their day to day life will need the connection and community of theater in an even stronger way.

  • dfc says:

    In 20 years, endless runs of hit shows will no longer be the producer’s holy grail. Increased demand for streaming content (and better technology to deliver Broadway shows to smartphones and Internet TVs) will lead producers to favor variety over longevity. Broadway theatres will be owned by entertainment megacompanies (Foxwoods is leading the way), each one generating “live” content for hundreds of niche channels. And … The unions will either support it, or disappear.

  • Mana says:

    In 20 years Broadway will host the American Museum of Musical Theatre with permanent exhibits featuring Sondheim, Harold Prince and Rodgers & Hammerstein … There will be an interactive exhibit where patrons can enter from the wings, stand center on a dark Broadway stage, hear the orchestra strike up the overture from GYPSY, have the curtain rise and as the lights hit them, the audience applauds…a thrill you cannot get from your phone or computer.

  • Rachel says:

    In 20 years Broadway shows will be less expensive to produce, meaning everyone involved gets paid more and fewer “Star names” are hired solely on their ability to get butts in seats. (This may be more of a wish than an actual prediction)

  • Z says:

    In 20 years… every seat will have an iTouch and audience members will vote for their favorite characters… At this performance will the Phantom give private singing lessons to Christine, Meg, or Mdme. Giry?!

  • JBS says:

    In 20 years Broadway will look to court the biggest film and tv writers and directors and producers to bring their talents to the Great White Way. While I think the tech advances will be great to add value to the experience audience members have once they are in the seats, they won’t really make more people purchase tickets. They will drive new audience members to the theater, without having to be there on a nightly basis. Look at the increased revenue when Billy Joe went into American Idiot, versus the sales of Book of Mormon. People like Green Day’s music but the largest audience went to see him and sales were sluggish on other nights, where BOM people are going to see the writing of the creative team they love which is there every night and it is a sold out hit nightly. Why would they want to do live theatre? It is a new way for them to see residual income from their work being produced later on tours, in high schools etc. which can replace what they used to make from DVD sales which have declined dramatically. With the direct streaming/online/watch only what you want when you want world that is evolving this revenue will dry up even more. Think about the possible sales of a show directed by Speilberg or JJ Abrams…that is where Broadway needs to go to keep being vibrant in 20 years.

  • Yosi Merves says:

    In 20 years, physical sets instead of 3-D projections will be an anomaly, and most shows will resemble a cross between reality televisions and video games.

  • Scott says:

    In 20 years you will be hearing the names of a new crop of producers, directors and choreographers from Dallas, Texas who are only 14 and 16 years old now. They will be taking Broadway to new and exciting places as right now it is my goal to train them up to be the new names who we will be talking about. I think the best investment for Broadway 2032 is the group of young people who are trusted to us now. Let’s give them the tools, training, resources, backing and creative outlets to experiment, fail, write, produce, direct and succeed so they will be able, ready and willing to wow all of us in 20 years. Will any of you from Broadway be willing to take some time to come and share your talants and abilities with tomorrow’s Broadway sensations? We need you and a handful of backers to begin this 20 year experiment. Who better to shape what Broadway will look and be like then today’s youth who will be running things in 20 years.

  • Keni Fine says:

    In 20 years, “Broadway” will have evolved into a World Heritage Site, looked to by young people and artists from around the world as the premiere place to go and create world-class theater, with international scale and appeal. (This being due to some (r)evolutionary Broadway plays produced in the years 2012-2015… more on that later, got to get back to writing!)
    The Marriot Marquis will have been transformed into the International University of Broadway, with a world-class, full-time, global training school and performing arts center housed inside. Of course, The Davenport Center will be the student hub and ticket office. (Starbucks will still be there on 45th St.)

  • Lesley R. says:

    In 20 years, there won’t be any cell phones interrupting performances. But on a more serious note, I fear that it will be impossible for an unknown to be cast as the star of a show.

  • Catherine Y says:

    I can’t attend on Monday, but I want to answer anyway. My brother and I were just saying the other day that in a few years, there will be little computer menus on the back of the seat in front of you at shows, which would allow you to order merch, food or drink for intermission or after the show, purchase tickets to another show, or interact with what is going on onstage. Or maybe it would just be accessible from your smartphone to save the theatre money. It would also be a good way to save paper (no stuffers, the info would just be on the app).

  • Cam says:

    In 20 years, Broadway will provide a 4D theatre experience for their audiences. Before 20 years would be better though.

  • In 20 years, Broadway will still be going strong, but it will become so expensive to put on shows that a new system will have been instituted (straight from my imagination), which is that actors will PAY to perform in Broadway shows and actors will compete for the privilege of auditioning for parts and will pay – thousands – to perform them. The larger the cast, the larger the capitalization can be, so larger-cast projects will prevail. Now a wealthy actor with reasonable skill can play “Hamlet” and have the dream come true of playing it on Broadway.
    Then a TV producer will create a reality show like “Amerian Idol” which will watch the auditions for these Bway parts and people in America will vote for their favorites – just for fun – although the Judges’ vote will be final. The shows will have a limited run and of course the understudies will also pay for the privilege and the pleasure of being on Broadway. The stagehands, etc. will still be paid for their efforts, but you will find that you can fill every part – ten times over – by actors who are willing to pay for the pleasure.

  • MrProducer says:

    In 20 years, Broadway will still be much the same as we know it. Those that are still around will still be longing for the shows of “the golden age”. Only now, they will be talking about Wicked instead of West Side Story. People will mourn for the long ago time when seats were ONLY $100. Many will still be predicting that Broadway is soon to be dead. However, there will always be younger kids in some small town who discover their parents’ dusty show albums (mp3s?) and realize that the sound of an Overture’s downbeat can inspire magic and signal the start of a new life

  • Tom L says:

    In 20 years, Broadway will be even more split down the middle than it is today– all shows will be: 1) tourist traps, or 2) high-brow artsy pieces. And the best theatre in NY will still be off-broadway!

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