Usually, I publish my holiday gift guide on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
But since you probably have a little more time on your hands this Turkey Day, I thought you might want to start your e-shopping early.
As always, here are my top ten (pandemic-friendly) Broadway-themed gifts of 2020 that every TheaterMaker and Theater Fanatic will love.
Masks are a thing. And even with a vaccine coming, they’re going to be a thing. Even years AFTER this pandemic has been crushed, they will STILL be a thing. (If you have a cold, you’ll wear a mask – just like they do in other parts of the world.) So, if you’re going to wear something, you might as well show your Broadway pride. Here are some great places (including some TheaterMaker small business artisans on Etsy) to pick up a Broadway-themed mask.
Hadestown was one of the most exciting, successful new shows on Broadway last year, raking in eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Now you can hear from the creator herself (who also happens to be one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020) as she takes you along on the decade-long journey of bringing Hadestown to Broadway. Get your copy of Working on a Song: The Lyrics of HADESTOWN by Anaïs Mitchell today!
Yes, yes, we created this game. But for those of you who think we’re just stumping for our own stuff, click here and look at all the amazing reviews. Be A Broadway Star is the ONLY Broadway board game. It’s a mashup between charades and “Life” and is a ton of fun (and yes, adults, there is also a drinking version). IMPORTANT: We sell out of these EVERY holiday season. And with board games all the rage during the pandemic, we predict we will sell out faster. Get Broadway’s only board game on Amazon here.
Yep, this one is also mine, but it’s the type of gift that I would have wanted under my tree when I was coming up in this biz so I had to recommend it.
Have you or your special TheaterMaker ever wanted advice from your favorite Broadway mentor? How about 50 Broadway mentors? In Cast of Mentors: Short Sage Advice from 50 Broadway Superpowers you’ll get more than you paid for in this collection of truths from high-achieving Tony winners, Oscar winners and Pulitzer Prize winners (!) including Terrence McNally, Dominique Morriseau, David Henry Hwang, Daryl Roth, Kathleen Marshall, Stephen C. Byrd and more. Get your copy of Cast of Mentors for your favorite TheaterMaker here.
We can all use a little soothing scent from a sweet candle, not to mention a little ‘light’ to remind us there is light at the end of this tunnel! A candle from this Etsy shop will transport you into the world of all your favorite shows!
Know the site Masterclass.com? TMS is like Masterclass.com but for theater. It’s a a digital training program and community for TheaterMakers at all stages in the process. If you’re a writer, producer, director, or actor and you want to get a show on a stage, find a producer, meet other writers, and more . . . this is the place for you.
As a member, you’ll have access to our certification courses, monthly group coaching calls with my team of experts, access to our Private Facebook Community, a literal treasure trove of resources, checklists, execution plans, and a ton more! This is a perfect way to show the TheaterMakers in your life that you’re invested in their careers and want to see them thrive.
Oh, and you also get me once a month on a coaching call, since I founded the place.
Okay, be honest. How many days this year have you spent in your pajamas? Pajamas have become the new business casual as many of us have shifted to work from home during the pandemic. Why not bring the spirit of Broadway to your work from home with these festive pajamas from Playbill?
With all the free time quarantine has given us, why not organize that Playbill collection like we’ve all been saying we would do for years? This is my personal favorite way to do that, and I’m sure any Broadway lover would feel the same. Start organizing your playbills and memories here.
9) A SUBSCRIPTION TO THESE STREAMING SITES
All the cool kids are streaming it. So shouldn’t you? Check out BroadwayHD and BroadwayOnDemand to get great theater content right on your phone, desktop or big screen tv. And there are free trials or free content on both! (And make sure you watch Daddy Long Legs, while you’re there.)
It’s a real battle between who writes better books about Broadway: Jen Tepper and her “Untold Stories of Broadway Series” or Michael Riedel. Michael follows up his first and fantastic book, Razzle Dazzle, with this new one, Singular Sensation, which has his usual flair of history, drenched in gossip.
If you’re looking for more gift ideas for the Broadway theater lover in your life, click here to see past years guides.
If you have someone in your life who dreams about being on Broadway or creating shows for Broadway, check out this specialty guide here.
Boy did I need something to distract me from CNN today. You?
When I need some misdirection from something that is causing me a lot of anxiety, I play “Fantasy Broadway.” I put myself in the hypothetical chair of a decision-maker on Broadway . . . a Producer, a Theater Owner, a Director or any kind of TheaterMaker . . . and then I put myself in a tough situation . . . and I ask myself, “What would I do?”
I’ve played this game for Tony Award campaigns (how would I convince voters to pick my show?), staffing questions (what designers do I think are best for this project?), and more.
Here’s what I toyed with today:
One of the things I am grateful for is that I didn’t have any shows running on Broadway when the covid-curtain came down. (The four musicals that I have teed up- Broadway Vacation, Joy, The Neil Diamond Musical and Harmony- were just about to go into the workshop phase.) So I asked myself, “If I did have a show running on Broadway, what would I do to keep that show top of mind before our return?”
I came up with a bunch of stuff, but here’s the one I liked the most.
I’d put it on sale.
“But how, Ken? If you don’t know when Broadway is coming back, how would you know when to put the show back on sale?”
Let me be more specific.
I’d put ONE performance on sale. And that performance wouldn’t have an exact date attached. But it would be a guaranteed ticket to the VERY FIRST PERFORMANCE back. 🙂
See, at a time when so many things are unknown (including who will be our next President – although that seems to be relatively clear to everyone except ONE person), there is one certainty in my book . . .
When we’re given the “all clear” and Broadway reopens again? The very first time a curtain is raised on a show is going to be one of the most magical nights in the theater . . . EVER.
Just imagine for a moment . . .you’re sitting in the audience of your favorite musical. The house lights go out . . . the orchestra strikes up . . . the curtain rises and an actor appears. And then she sings . . .
I mean, people are going to go ballistic!!!!
It’s going to be historic. And fans are going to want to be a part of that incredible, sob-inducing, standing-ovation-that-may-last-an-hour, moment. They’re going to want to be a part of it so badly, that they’d buy a ticket for it now. Even without knowing exactly when it is!
Don’t you think?
And if you don’t think . . . tell me below why. And then YOU PLAY THE GAME! Come up with your own way that you’d keep your audience talking about your show while Broadway is shutdown and put it in the comments!
And then you can go back to watching CNN.
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Marketing is going to change in the post-pandemic world. That’s why we have a marketing panel at the TheaterMakers Summit, which starts in just SEVEN DAYS! Get your ticket here and see some of the 100 (!) speakers we have ready to help you in your theatrical pursuits. Click here and join us now.