How many women do THIS on Broadway?

There has been a lot of conversation in the past few years about the disproportionate number of women writers on Broadway, women directors on Broadway, and even strong central female characters on Broadway.

(And a lot of this discussion has happened on my own podcast:  Just listen to Jeanine Tesori, Lynne Meadow and Lynn Ahrens talk about the subject.)

Since like-attracts-like, one of the greatest lessons I got about this subject was from Lynn Ahrens, who said “Ken, you’re a guy . . . whether you know it or not, you may feel naturally inclined to go to another guy, especially if the biggest pool of applicants are men.  So before you make a decision about staffing any position, just take another beat to set aside any habitual instinct and consider anyone and everyone for the job.”

Pretty amazing advice, don’t you think?

This got me to thinking about the like-attracts-like concept.  I’ve written about a similar phenomenon before, in this blog about how to get more stories about people of color on our stages (which involves getting more writers of color opportunities to write those stories).

So back to how to get more women directors, more women writers, etc. represented on Broadway.

I’m not sure I have the answer, but I can tell you for sure what one of the problems is.

I had my research team (led by my Associate Producer Valerie (yes, a female) Novakoff) dig into the trenches of IBDB.com and they came back with this statistic.

In the last 5 years, only 28.46% of all Broadway commercial plays or musicals had female Lead Producers.

Although this is better than the 6.4% of CEOs that are women on the Fortune 500, it’s still tremendously disappointing.

Not only because we need more equality in the folks leading shows, but because if there were more women Lead Producing shows, there would, I’d bet, be more women directors, more women writers and more female stories on Broadway.

Now, that’s the easy part.

The hard part is, as always, what to do with the data once we have it.

Do we offer young Associate Producer scholarships . . . giving qualified applicants the title credit without requiring a money-raise to get them started?

Do we ask high schools around the country to assign a Producer to their high school musicals, and encourage them to choose a young woman?

How do we leverage the accomplishment of that 28.46%?

What are your ideas on how we level the producing field?

 

P.S. Want to learn how to produce a play? Click here for all the tips, tools and training you need.

 

Broadway Grosses w/e 2/11/2018: Ok, now that THAT’s over.

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending February 11, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

Broadway Grosses w/e 2/4/2018: The Patriots aren’t the only ones who lost last week

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending February 4, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

STATS REVEALED: Fewer shows close this January than in the last 10 years.

On Tuesday, I posted a theory in my weekly Broadway gross wrap up.

Ok, it wasn’t really a theory.  It was more like a feeling in my gut.  And frankly, I couldn’t tell if that feeling in my gut was the pizza I ate at midnight, or if I was really on to something.

So, I had my crackerjack research team (including our new intern Liana) do a bit of data digging to see if this theory was the result of some greasy pepperoni or an actual thing.

And this AM, they spit out some stats and voilà . . . it looks like, as a therapist would say, my feelings were valid.

What I hypothesized was that this year had the fewest closings in January we’ve had in a long time.  See, normally shows seem to shutter quickly after the holidays.  But this year it seemed like more shows were sticking it out . . . stretching to MLK Day and Broadway Week, and now beyond.

And, as you’ll see in the blog below, that’s exactly what happened!

This January, we only saw 3 shows close, which is the LOWEST number of shows we’ve had in the last ten years.

In fact, an average of 8 shows closed in January over the last decade.  And this year, it wasn’t even half that.  (Non Profit closings weren’t included, by the way).  This past year was 62.5% less than the average.

Take a look . . .

Interesting trend, no?

But it doesn’t stop there.

I turned the time machine back another ten years to see how we stacked up against a longer era, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re way under that average of 6 shows closing in January over the last twenty years.

See for yourself.

 

What does all this mean?

It means that Broadway Week has helped.  It means more tourists are sticking around after Xmas (and tourism is up in general).  It also means that shows are getting smarter about pricing during this period to attract more buyers.

Oh, and it means even fewer theaters will be available to new spring shows.

(Do you like charts and graphs about the business of Broadway?  Check out The Recoupment Report, my quarterly newsletter dedicated to the art and commerce of investing on Broadway.  Click here for more info and to sign up.)

P.S. Want to learn how to produce a musical? Click here for all the tips, tools and training you need.

Free Webinar Alert: The Ins-and-Outs of Co-Producing on Broadway.

There are two kinds of Producers on Broadway:  Lead Producers and Co-Producers.

Do you know the difference?  (This is a quiz.)

A simple analogy might be that the Lead Producer is like the Chairman/woman of the Board of a Non Profit . . . and a Co-Producer is like the Board Members.

But it ain’t so simple.

Co-Producing on Broadway has become an important niche in our industry.  It’s where most Broadway Investors graduate to, and it’s where most Lead Producers come from.

The Lead Producing Path often looks something like this:

Broadway Investor -> Broadway Co-Producer -> Broadway Lead Producer

Since Broadway shows have become more expensive over the years, Lead Producers have “sub-contracted” out the financing to more “Board Members” than in previous decades.  That’s why I get so many questions from readers and podcast listeners like, “How do Broadway Co-Producer deals work,” or “Who are the other names above a show’s title,” and “How do I become a Broadway Co-Producer?”

And, as I said on a recent “Office Hours” call for my PROs, if I get the same three questions on the same subject from three different people, then I know I haven’t done my job in getting people the info they want.

That’s why, next Wednesday, February 7th at 7 PM EST, I’m teaching a FREE webinar entitled . . . “Co-Producing on Broadway:  So You Wanna Be a Broadway Bundler.”

During the webinar, I’ll break down . . .

  • Strategies for choosing the right show to Co-Pro.
  • How to negotiate the best deal (and what those deals are anyway).
  • How to be a Co-Pro without having to invest your own $.
  • The risks and the rewards (and we’re not talking just cash).
  • A Co-Producer’s role in the production before and after it opens.

And, of course, I’ll take all your questions at the end of the session.

To join me and learn more about Co-Producing on Broadway, just click here to sign up for this one hour webinar, next Wednesday night at 7 PM.  It’s free.

See you there.

WEBINAR:  Co-Producing on Broadway:  So You Wanna Be a Broadway Bundler.
DATE:  Wednesday, 2/7/18
TIME: 7 PM – 8 PM
COST:  FREE

To register, click here.

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