Broadway and Politics have a lot in common when it comes to social media.

Some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned about how to produce shows are from watching how other high risk industries deal with similar issues.  Airlines and perishable inventory.  Sports and VIP experiences.  Restaurants and customer retention.  Etc.

I’ve written about Producers and Politicians before in this post, and I’m sure with only T-minus 8 months and counting before the big contest in November, I’ll write about them again.

But until then, you’ve got to watch this video about the resistance to social media in the political space.  I swear, you could just overdub the words “politicians” with “producers” or “politics” with “Broadway” and the video would be absolutely relevant to our biz.

Any of this sound familiar . . .

“I don’t know what that is, quit using it.”

“That’s not how (we) do it.”

“(Politics) is such a lagging issue when it comes to technology.”

“They are very reluctant to try anything that is untested. They want to stick with the things that have been working for the last 30 years.”

Watch the video.  It’s pretty hysterical how similar we are.

Now, in their defense and in ours, social media and new technology are still a young(er) person’s game (and when I say young, I mean under 40, because I still haven’t crossed the 4-0 threshold yet, so I’m holding on to young as long as I can).  And the fact is that younger voters do not make up the majority of our voters.  That puts more of the decision in the older folks’ hands (and when I say older, I mean 65 plus, which gives me another quarter century).  Same with theater.  The majority of our buyers aren’t tweeting up a storm or figurin’ out foursquare.


But they will be tomorrow, so it’s important all of us invest in it today.  Because other industries are.

What’s going to change our resistance to technology?  Well, we need a lot of passionate people, just like bow-tie wearing Wesley, who is the first person to speak in the vid, who almost falls out of his chair with his desire to get politics into the 21st century.

We need more of those guys in our biz too.

I’m betting that if you’re reading this, you could be one of them.

So do us all a favor, fall out of your chair.  But forget about the bowtie.  That was so me in 1988.
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  • Doug says:

    “Those crusty old guys you talk about fight back” hahaha
    Very true, and as frustrating as it is to convince the powers that be to spend money on online marketing, it’s exciting to know that the Ken Davenports out there have an eye out on this, and lesser producers of younger generations nationwide can take advantage and bring about a new generation of theatre-goers in their underground theatre communities.

  • Ken-you are so ahead of your time. It is amazing how you make connections between different disciplines and apply them to the discipline of theater producing. Part of the challenge, for you, I see over and over again, is that you go were others don’t, and you see with new eyes. I don’t know any other voice in this arena who has this ability. That’s why I take your seminars! Your new eyes, I betcha, is going to be a powerful force to keep theater alive in the next century-not because you keep up with the times– you make the times.

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