How that #@%& Sandy impacted Off-Broadway

When circumstances beyond your control negatively affect your business, it’s bad.

It’s easy for all of us to just say, “Man, this is bad.  This sucks.  Business is horrible.”

But in bad times, it’s actually important for all business owners and industry leaders to step back and say, “This is bad.  Now let’s figure out how bad.”

That question, not only puts your mind to work and prevents you from dwelling too much in the misery of what’s happening, but it also gathers data that could help you minimize the “badness” of a future similar situation.

I’m sure that’s what motivated the studious NYC & Company (the official marketing, tourism and partnership org for NYC) and The Off-Broadway League to coordinate a report on the impact of Sandy (as well as the Nor’easter that followed) on the Off-Broadway market.

Here’s what they found out:

  • Average number of days that venues were closed or not operational was 7 days.
  • Average number of days that administrative offices were closed was 3 days (Note from KD:  Theater people are way too passionate to keep away from work!)
  • A total number of 102 performances were “lost.”
  • Total estimated reported loss either from revenue or expenses (in the case of production expenses) was $742,246.  Effected ticket revenue was reported to be $564,954.
  • A majority of Not-For-Profit productions (56%) did not encourage patrons to donate back their tickets rather than getting a refund or reassign.
  • The Internet was the main vehicle of communication source members used to let the public and their ticketholders know of their cancellation policies.  Others were email, their production website, and social media.
  • Members believed that the most effective source of information in letting the public know of their policy was Facebook, followed by their ticket vendor and Twitter.  (Note from KD:  !!!  Facebook is now a news source.)
Interesting, and sad statistics, don’t you think?  Those kind of losses for small businesses (which is what Off-Broadway shows and theaters are – politicians, are you listening?) could be door-shutting.  But I also know that the Off-Broadway spirit is too strong to let a storm get in our way.  But if you’re looking to see a show in the coming weeks, think about spending your dollars at an Off-Broadway box office.  You could be helping more than you now.
And, while this blog is about the effects of Sandy on one niche industry, it’s important to remember that bottom lines are the least important things that have been disrupted by this storm.
People are still struggling.  And you can help.  Click here to donate to The Red Cross and help those in need.
(Note from KD:  The above is a summary of the report from NYC&CO and the League. If you’d like your own copy, contact the Off-Broadway League.  Membership is cheap, and findings like these are invaluable.)


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



– Come to my Producer’s Perspective social TONIGHT!  Click here to RSVP!  SOLD OUT!

– Win 2 Tickets to see Elf on Broadway.  Click here!

– Vote for Producer of the Year 2012!  Who will it be?!?  Click here to cast your vote today!

  • Patrick Salazar says:

    PLEASE tell me the snapple theatre center was blown atop of the old witch (ahem I mean 30 year old trophy wife as it says in the script) that stars in the perfect crime. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

  • Catherine says:

    The energy devoted to Sandy is really really
    important. Off Broadway lost for sure
    and I was wondering if any of you might want to take any theatrical project into some of these desolate areas. These neighbors are so in need of stuff to feed them. I’ve been visiting and shooting a lot of interviews and stills for a doc. film I’ve been making. And am learning and awackening to so much from their stories… So it’s a hope perhaps we might bring some musical numbers or a few monologues to travel … to Staten Island. I will film it so it will reach broader audiences and opportunities for all.
    Consider 2013, and as creative producers and writers , let’s invest in some way of connecting to those who lost more… than our off broadway
    houses..our theatre peers can rally, like always ! Catherine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *