The Sunday Giveaway: Two tickets to Bad Jews Off Broadway

The Roundabout has done some cool stuff over the years (including buying up a whole handful of theatres in Times Square), but one of their coolest endeavors in my book has been their Underground series, which has taken new plays and new playwrights and made them affordable.

In addition to that big win for audiences, The Underground has proven to be a launching pad for new writers . . . and the latest playwright to get a lift off is Joshua Harmon, whose Bad Jews has left the Underground orbit and is landing at the Laura Pels Theatre Off Broadway.

And we’ve got two tickets to give away to one of you.

How do you win?

Well, in light of last Friday’s depressing news, we’re getting serious this week.

What is the one thing you think we can do to join Roundabout’s fight for new plays and new playwrights?  Think big, think small . . . but give me one initiative on how to get more plays to the public.

And one of you will win.

Go to!


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

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  • Elisa Christina Clayton says:

    Davenport Theatricals produces at least one new play/musical written by a yet unknown playwright every year.

    • Elisa Christina Clayton says:

      Tying into the previous suggestions (but not limiting storytelling only to educational initiatives):

      “A Star is Born Playwrighting Series.”

      Maybe a television series too!

  • Kyle says:

    Tying new works and and including playwrights into an institution’s educational program is a great way to cultivate a new generation of theater-goers. More importantly, donors love to support theater companies that are innovative and proactive about education initiatives.

  • Sarah P. says:

    Maybe some kind of playwriting competition where new and “undiscovered” writers can submit their plays and potentially win funding/some sort of production deal/a public workshop?

  • Support New, young playwrights! See whats running successfully around the country, and take a chance on new work!

    • Elisa Christina Clayton says:

      What’s wrong with new playwrights the same age (or older) as the average age of the majority of theatre goers
      (40, 50, 60 something and et al.)? Life experience and maturity of subject matter — matters to this audience.

  • Brian Weiner says:

    As a teacher this seems simple: stop cutting the arts! The more we cultivate young people to show their passions and take creative risks, the more we will benefit from their products! People don’t create new material because they don’t think it’s lucrative. We need to turn that tide!

  • Liz Wollman says:

    Put more money into arts programming in the schools. Also, candy. Lots and lots of candy.

  • Yosi Merves says:

    Perhaps this should be a criteria to receive grants from private foundations, or even from an organization such as New York State Council for the Arts. A non-profit theatre company would have to devote a certain percentage of their season, say 30% to full productions of new plays by playwrights with a limited amount of credits or exposure.

  • Bryan Austermann says:

    Perhaps not the most novel idea, but in order to help new playwrights write new plays, I think we should support the new works that are currently being produced so that the companies and producers that produce them can continue putting up new work.
    This came because I was going to Playwrights Horizons Theater School, but I’ve now been a subscriber to Playwrights Horizons season for three years. Some of my best theatrical experiences and favorite plays have been at PH in the past three years. Out of the shows I’ve seen there, I have really loved all but one.
    So I guess what I’m saying is, in order to foster new new work, we have to make sure the current new work succeeds (or at least given a fighting chance).

  • Margie Goldsmith says:

    Give away two free tickets per week to one lucky winner – the producers will take turns with the plays — post the offer in NY Mag, New Yorker, AM NY, Metro NY, those freebie NYC magazines that goes to hotels, on the radio — anywhere — without paying advertising — it will be editorial and “listening.” To win, entrants need to give their email address. One winner will be chosen at random each week — that way, you have an entire data-base of interested potential theatre-goers who you can then send out a monthly newsletter to via email with a blurb about each Broadway and off-Broadway play both in theatres and upcoming shows.

  • A rehearsal+performance space with hourly, daily or semi-daily slots available for bookings on a pricing scheme similar to megabus.

    Some people pay average or slightly elevated rates because they are the last to book, and the first receive a drastic discount.

    It’s a very raw idea, but maybe it could work.

  • Brian says:

    How about combining the hot trend on Broadway with a popular aspect of your blog Ken? Instead of having the student rush/lottery only involve waiting outside the theatre have them go to a small theater for a free reading of a new play. At the end of it there is a drawing for tickets to a hot show! All those teenage girls in the Wicked lottery would gladly sit through a 90 minute reading if at the end of it they had a chance to win tix for WICKED. Let them sit in Circle in The Square for the staged reading at 5PM. How many readings would someone sit through at New Stages at 5PM if at the end of each reading there was a drawing for a pair of Book Of Mormon tix that night? Get local restaurants involved. If you sit through the reading and don’t win tickets, everyone gets a coupon for a buy one get one free dinner at a local restaurant! I bought tix for Belleville last year the day they went on sale for one reason, The Great God Pan was so good! So if I attended a good reading I would be much more likely to buy tix for a small show off-bway by the same author.

  • Larry Segall says:

    visit all nyc high schools and colleges and promote ticket giveaways, two for one specials, discounted tickets for students, a showing of a 45″-1 Hour informational/entertaining video about NY theater, off and on Broadway and sharing opporutunities to seniors thru senior centers, adult education programs. Larry Segall

  • Terrence Cranert says:

    Create a playwriting staged reading program called Monday Night Manuscripts that takes place at a different Broadway theatre once a month.This would not place a huge burden on any single producer or theatre owner. Make arrangements with AEA to permit current Broadway stars to do the readings under a waiver. Invite current producers to attend along with members of the general public for a nominal charge. Have successful Broadway playwrights available to provide critiques. Use proceeds to finance a full workshop for those shows demonstrating the most promise

  • Candace says:

    Charge a minimal price, say $20 for new productions at off times like 5 pm. The audience watches the play, then evaluates it on a ballot (to be examined by the producers at a later time), then half of the evening’s gross is raffled off like a 50/50 to someone who filled out the evaluation form with a coherent response. Hits up theatergoers, risk-takers, and gamblers too!

  • Perin H says:

    One of the things Roundabout (and Playwrights Horizons and Second Stage and many of the other not-for-profit companies) do is tied into connecting with their audience through discussions, educational modules, etc. obviously, this is tied to their NFP mission (and the tax-breaks thereof). But it does something more important than just making the audience feel that they’ve been given something “extra” for the price of their ticket – if done right, it gives the author and producer valuable feedback while still making the audience feel good. At these discussions, which should be done both early in the run AND later, ask the audience what could be done to make the show better – whether that’s shortening it or lengthening it or explaining it better, etc. Ask them to follow up by filling out a form with their contact info and suggestion. And if the playwright and director and producer like the suggestions or implement them – give the suggest or another pair of tickets to either that show or the playwright’s NEXT show, so the playgoer can offer MORE suggestions.

  • John P. says:

    Maybe create a referral service to vet good scripts – feedback for writers and a filter for producers?







  • Kathryn Webber says:

    Encourage small and community theatre’s to perform at least one new playwright a year. Grant them money, if possible for doing it.

  • rich says:

    So, is NYMF a joke? How come no one has mentioned it, 30 new musicals a year are staged. Is the festival not taken seriously by theater goers?

  • David Arthur says:

    There once was a very successful organization called Equity Library Theater. Under the umbrella of AEA, it offered a season of well known and neglected plays and musicals that showcased up and coming professional actors, directors, choreographers and designers. It was not for any individual producer or festival’s profit. All income from the nominal ticket price went into the budgets for the shows. Wouldn’t it be loverly if Equity Library Theater could be resurrected to produce showcase runs of new plays and musicals?

  • Aaron Deitsch says:

    If Broadway producers help new playwrights get their plays produced in regional theaters with the possibility that the play might transfer to New York, regional theaters would have an incentive to produce new works in the hope they could have a part in the next big thing

  • Karen Campbell says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to have live “trailers” for potential new plays performed for a Broadway audience before the show? Take it further and develop an app that would let the audience choose a winner from those “trailers” that would be performed as an opening act to a Broadway show. Or simply introduce those “trailers” by electronic means before the show – (but theater is live, so..)

    We introduce musical groups to the public as opening acts and we introduce/reinforce interest in films to the public through trailers – why not use a similar method to build interest in new plays and playwrights?

  • ilan says:

    Have small theaters in neighborhoods that have artsy feel, e.g., Bushwick, New York. Hire solid directors of a more underground nature and talented but unknown actors.

  • Kyle Abraham says:

    Every one out of ten audience members gets a free t-shirt that says, “I saw a new play today.”

  • Ed says:

    Create a combination of “Project Runway” and “Work of Art” type reality TV show that puts playwrights and directors together. These competions, if nothing else are buzz-generating

  • nancy cohen says:

    How about a theme? Producers suggest a strong idea and give fresh voices (notice I didn’t say young) a chance to showcase their talents…be it drama, comedy or musical…whatever would best convey the parameters suggested by producers…this would be so exciting to see what writers would come up with, esp witht he thought of being produced.

  • Rosie says:

    Set up a series of plays a la “The Fringe Festival” that gives yet unknown playwrights a chance to showcase their work for a nominal ticket price of, let’s say, $20, with a short talk back after each performance and a review sheet for each audience member. Of course, this is an idea that is already “in play”, but not under the umbrella of an established theater like the Roundabout, whose name recognition and reputation would likely garner lots of attention and perhaps additonal funding from various sources.

  • Fran says:

    2 comments. First, I love the idea of bringing back Equity Library Theater. I worked for ELT as either assistant stage manager, electrician or followspot operator for about ten years. They were wonderful people who did quality work. You’ve got to bring back Lyn Montgomery with ELT. She was production manager and had an amazing rolodex of contact numbers. If you worked at ELT in any capacity you went in her rolodex and she referred you for work elsewhere. And she was a very nice lady.

    2nd. Remember family. Discounts on Tuesdays only isn’t enough. Establish a child’s price ticket for Monday-Thursday. A family of 4 will spend $500 for tickets before even thinking about the cost of dinner. Thank God for John’s Pizza!

    Also, encourage playwrights to write plays with roles for children. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents (of course), siblings, cousins, friends, etc. All want to see their darling onstage in costume and in lights. So many theaters do Annie and Fiddler because they know they’ll sell tickets to all the family.

    So many shows are 1-6 adult characters. Encourage playwrights to include children/young adults in their casts.

    Well, that’s it for me this week.

  • Lynn A. says:

    These are all such great ideas and yes some of these are already being done, some done in the past if you really put a lot of energy you can find some of these ways to get your play out there but- what it comes down too –
    is support for development here. that is the bottom line:
    developing any play and/or musical from an unknown is just plain difficult to get recognition – and we need established dir/playwrights/producers to help and mentor and give these opportunities to some of us.
    Yes more workshops, more collectives to work in a relaxed environment, more feed back, more talkbacks, and way to do this on a very lean budget.
    Its just getting harder to develop anything here in NYC and it needs to be a bigger discussion.

  • Mary M says:

    Live plays on Netflix or Hulu.

  • Jeryl M. says:

    I think there should be a Broadway channel on TV like just like there is one on satellite radio.

  • Paul Argentini says:

    Blah! Blah! Blah! Bafflegab!

    Produce this: THE DECISIVE POINT by Paul Argentini, a two-character, full-length, one set, contemporary play with two tension-filled acts, and an ending everyone expects but is surprised out of their wits when it happens.

  • Sarah M. Chichester says:

    One thing that I think could be done is doing a staged reading series that new plays from new playwrights that could be performed on a weekly basis. It can be open submissions for the reading series and it could be a theatre during a shows dark day.

  • Ellen ORchid says:

    A good way to get new drama before theatre goers is to make it convenient for writers and actors by waiving rehearsal room costs. Theaters and theater schools with rehearsal rooms to offer would be great. Using dark nights to have readings on Bway stages would be great too. There are already many theater festivals in NYC. It wd be great if they were free.

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