Pressing the pause button today of all days.

Last week, I blogged about the importance of pressing the pause button during difficult negotiations.

Today, I’m going to use the same phrase for a much more important reason . . .

Now that we’ve passed the 10th Anniversary of September 11th and distanced ourselves further and further from that tragic day, I hear it mentioned more casually in conversations about the Broadway business.

“September 11th changed the way we discount forever.”

“We are still recovering from the post-9/11 consumer buying patterns.”

“Is the 9/11 Play market over-saturated?”

Now, these are all important comments and questions about our industry in relation to this tragic event.

But, it’s important to remember, especially today, on the 11th Anniversary of the attacks, that none of that crap really matters at all.

It was my 2nd day of work as the Company Manager on the Roundabout production of Assassins (that was subsequently canceled) when the planes hit the towers.  And today, I’m going to press the pause button on my busy business day for a moment, and remember those innocent people who lost their lives during their busy business day eleven years ago.  And I’ll say a prayer for their families who I’m sure will struggle to get through their busy business day today.

It’s easy to get caught up with Business and Broadway and blah, blah, blah . . . especially when you blog about it daily.  🙂

And that’s why it’s important for all of us to press pause and remember . . . and then never forget.


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  • Lisa Pratt says:

    Thank you for today’s “pause” – a good reason to stop and remember, don’t sweat the small stuff.

  • Jay Z says:

    Appreciate the pause, Ken, and the subtlety of the graphic. As someone who lost my home and more that day, I too divide my life into pre and post 9/11. But even though the images still feel frighteningly fresh, business and home are nothing compared to loss of life.

    It’s good to pause, mourn, honor, and then be grateful when we press play. Thanks.

  • John Fiorillo says:

    Well said Ken. In a world in which everything that happened before last Tuesday seems to be considered ancient history, this is one event we can never forget. Those of us who were alive that day — especially those of us who live in New York — consider that day one of, if not the most important, dividing lines in our life.

  • John David says:

    Thanks Ken, wise words, well said.

    I do think that events as significant as 9/11 are what the theater is supposed to wrestle with – the depths of human experience and the heights and everything in between.

  • ken marion says:

    On point as usual Mr. Davenport. This is the day that marks your generation forever. Mine was the murder of John Kennedy and my father’s was Pearl Harbor. It is such a shame that each generation must be marked with a great tragedy.
    The theatre as you and I know can bring great joy and hope to more than one generation. Hoping that the theatre grows and the message gets heard.

  • Lynn says:

    I was managing a rehearsal of My Fair Lady…and ironically they were rehearsing With a Little Bit of Luck when we released to leave Times Square. I have a book that is coming out next year that are the emails, journals and creative writings that happened from that day until October 2011. I was only prepping the show after returning from Company Managing Gladys Knight…my life changed amazingly since then…and so next year monies from the book I created at that time will finally get to the World Trade Center Museum. I spent the day playing the song If I Had My Way by Wildhorn and Murphy to school children explaining how real life creates life and expresses people’s deepest emotion. We always need to keep the significance of life’s most revealing moments as a pause point. Thank you.

  • Kristen Coury says:

    Thank you so much for your sensitivity.

  • Eva says:

    I love the play on words of pause. one should take pause and reflect and pause and smell the roses so to speak,I remember it was just after Broadway on Broadway and I was in the middle of putting my show together and I used Let Freedom RIng or something like that from Urinetown and Bring Him Home from Les Miz to close out the show.
    Kids remember it differently. My kid was 4 and first day of school where I left him so he could have a normal day. He had the best time playing games with the teacher in a dark classroom eating cookies and drinking milk. It’s a testament to the teachers that they managed to maintain normalcy and fun for the children that day.

  • Jon Mann says:


    Just got to say first I really enjoy your blog. Its a very helpful resource and your perspective is interesting.

    For native new yorkers like me especially 9/11 was such an epic tragedy and assault on our home.

    The scale of it is what Greek tragedy was going for but just so much bigger, more sudden and stunning than could have been imagined at the time.

    I don’t think we have seen enough substantial and highly achieved creative reaction to 9/11. For me the best to date was Bruce Springsteen’s album The Rising. Perhaps by the 20th or 25th anniversary that will have changed….

  • John Carden says:

    It changed a lot for all of us and as I looked out my window last night and saw the two beams of light shining into the NYC, night sky. I paused for a moment. I thought about what it must of felt like for those on top of the towers, trying to decide what to do? Jump or not? And that’s what I began to ask myself everyday after 911 Jump or not? Fly or stay on the ground? Life changed for all of us. It’s short. If you were in their place what questions would you ask Ken? I ask myself, Are you loving? Are you making the most of this life? Are you plugged into your passion, your purpose for being here? For a time I got a little side tracked went down the money road and made some. It wasn’t enough though and then I decided to jump too and trust that the net would appear. My flight has brought me to NYU and now I am a composer at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. It is clear that the world is no longer flat and it is clear that Broadway changes and everyone talks about what is it we need? Has the ship sailed? Will it survive? I don’t know but I will tell you this. I will continue to write musicals until it is no longer possible for me to do so. I write them for myself and I want to share them too. If they create enjoyment for others that is the bonus. One of our professors told us last night in class that he could really count on two hands the musical theatre composers/writers who were making money at this. You could feel the air go out of the room. You see each of my classmates are gifted and they have borrowed (estimated) 100k to 200k to learn this craft. You could see them go from dull to despair.
    No one would say that having a baby is a good financial idea really. It will cost you a lot of money and children don’t always turn out so well anyway, but hey that doesn’t seem to be slowing anyone down. Musical theatre is my child and I will always love it without condition. I used to give haircuts to pay the bills and after school I don’t mind scrubbin a few heads as long as I can go home at night and sit in front of my piano and bring the next fine thing to life.

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