Win an iPad in my 2012 Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool!

What do you get when you cross The Tony Awards with an iPad?

My 2012 Tony Pool!

Yep, it’s that time of year . . . time for you to be the Tony Voter.

Now remember, unlike Tony Voters who vote for what they think is best (!), in my Tony Pool, you’re going after your own gold . . . La Pad de I.  That means, you’re going to pick what you THINK will win, not what you WANT to win.  For example, if I was entering, I wouldn’t be writing in Godspell on every line, even though I’m still thinking of staging some sort of Viva La Godspell revolution at the show in protest.  😉

Got it?  Knew you would.

As I say every year, I do this for fun, and to say thanks for reading . . . but remember, since Tony Awards can mean something at the box office, on your resume, and to your artists, picking what will win is a very good skill for a Producer to have.

So take out your electronic pencils, do your own handicapping (taking into account all the politics and everything else going on), and maybe you’ll be reading my blog on your very own iPad soon enough.

Ok, some rules . . .

– Only one entry per reader.  Multiple entries will disqualify all of your entries.

– To play, you must be an email subscriber to the blog.  If you are not an email subscriber, use the box on the upper left corner of this page to subscribe now.  If you are already an email subscriber, you do not have to re-subscribe.

– Make sure you fill out ALL of the information on the “Verification Page” of your entry.  Incomplete entries (and there were a few last year) cannot be counted.  And that’s a major bummer.

– When asked for your email on the “Verification Page”, make sure you enter the same email that you use to subscribe to the blog. It’s how we verify who you are.

Got it?  Yee-freekin’-haw!

PLAY TODAY and you can win an iPad!


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



– Win 2 Tickets to One Man, Two Guvnors!  Click here!

– Win $500 in our 10 Minute Play Contest.  Click here to enter!

Win $500 in our 10 Minute Play Contest!

I like to play games.

And games are a great way to get your mind going.

So, in order to get writing minds going, we thought we’d sponsor a game that could end up paying you for your writing.

And here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be a three act opera, or a two act musical, or even a 90 minute one-acter.

We’re looking for 10 minute plays!  And the best one is gonna win $500!

And then, get this, we’re going to host all the plays in our studios and perform them for anyone that wants to come as a part of a ’10 Minute Play Festival’.

New plays and new people, mixing it up together.  Add $500 and it sounds like fun to me.

So enter!

You can get all of the details on how to submit here, but here are few important bullet points:

  • $500 1st Prize
  • 9 Finalists will receive cash prize of $50.
  • It must be a NEW 10 Minute Play.
  • It must be 10 minutes (around 10 pages) or less.
  • Deadline for submission is May 18th.

Learn the rest of the rules and regulations here.

And submit today!

And I don’t care if you’ve never written a play before.  Why not start now?  (How many of you had New Year’s resolutions to write a play this year?)  Arthur Miller wasn’t a playwright until he wrote his first play.  So write one and you are one.   Or to reference one of my favorite quotes, “Competency occurs in an instant.”  The moment you do something, you can do something.

I don’t care if you make something up, or watch a scene from a Starbucks and then put it on paper, create a 10 minute play and enter it.

And a 10 minute play may be just the baby step you need to get you to the 2 act Musical that you know you’ve got inside you somewhere.


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



– How to Sell Your Show with Social Media Seminar this Tuesday.  Click here to register.

– Win 2 Tickets to When Everything Was Possible.  Click here!

– Take a Broadway Road Trip THIS SATURDAY, 4/28 from DC.  ONLY A FEW SEATS LEFT!   Click here!

What? No “Will It Recoup” this year? Is this a trend?

Hey, don’t blame me.

I wanted to play Will It Recoup.  After all, we’ve done it for three years in a row, and I have just as much fun as you do trying my luck at “Fantasy Broadway”.

If you’re new to the blog and don’t know what Will It Recoup is, here’s the short story.  Every Spring for the past three years I’ve posted a list of the limited run commercial plays opening and asked you to guess which ones you thought would recoup, and the person who got the most right answers would win some sort of a prize.

Well, imagine the shock on my face when I took a good look at the schedule this Spring, only to find . . . a lack of limited run plays to choose from!

We’ve usually had 9 or 10 shows to make the competition interesting, but this year, we ain’t got nothing of the sort.  Seriously, let’s look at the batting order this Spring for plays:

The Road to Mecca – Non Profit
Wit – Non Profit
Venus in Fur – Fall holdover and also Non Profit
Shatner’s World – Not sure what this is exactly, but it’s only running for a few weeks so I couldn’t count it anyway.
Death of a Salesman – There’s one!
The Best Man – There’s two!
Magic/Bird – Open-Ended
Peter and the Starcatcher – Open-Ended
One Man, Two Guvnors –  Open-Ended
A Streetcar Named Desire – There’s three!
The Columnist – Non Profit
Don’t Dress for Dinner – Non Profit

Three.  Just three.

What does this mean?  Is this a trend?

Are the Non Profits picking up the bulk of the Play Producing duties these days (especially for revivals)?  Are Producers getting riskier with more open-ended attempts (there are three on this list alone, and none of them have super star power going for them)?  Is this a fluke?

Whatever it is, it sure is putting a damper on our Will It Recoup fun this Spring.  Big ol’ 🙁  But since this is the first time we’ve seen anything like this in 4 years, it is something to watch, although I’d say it’s too early to call it a bona fide trend.

If you’re disappointed about Will It Recoup ,don’t worry.  I’ll try and think of something else we can speculate on.

Hey – how about we take a survey on who is most likely to be the Tony host this year?  Hugh Jackman?  Darren Criss?  Nick Jonas?  NPH?  Debra Messing?


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



– Win FOUR tickets to see Nick Jonas in How To Suceed . . . Click here to enter!

– Take a Broadway Road Trip from DC on 2/25!  Click here!

– SEMINAR ALERT: Get Your Show Off the Ground Seminar: 2/18.  Only ONE slot left!  Sign up today!


How a crane reminded me about a call to action.

How many of you have played The Crane game?  You know, that crazy coin-operated carny-like game where you spend megabucks trying to win stupid stuffed animals worth about seventy-five cents just to show “your skill”?

Ok, as you can see, I have a hate-hate relationship with The Crane . . . because I have never beat that little b*tch, and I’ve known too many people that could populate a small New England town with the number of stuffed animals they’ve won.

I bumped into The Crane on a recent stop at my favorite Friendly’s Restaurant (yummmm), and while I lost about $7 trying to win a purple dinosaur, at least I did learn something.

If you’ve been in marketing for any length of time, you know that a call to action (ex. Buy Now, Download Today, Get Tickets) is a mandatory part of any copy.  But sometimes it’s such a simple thing I’ve seen it forgotten.

Well, leave it to The Crane to remind us all that if you don’t tell your customers what to do, there’s a good chance they won’t do it.  Being passive aggressive doesn’t work in relationships and it doesn’t work in marketing.

“Play till you win.”  That’s what The Crane was telling me to do.  Don’t just play.  Play till I win.

Simple, straightforward, and damn it, I listened.

The theater is filled with smart and clever people that come up with intelligent copy and tactics that could probably win a lot of awards.

And while I love clever, you can’t forget the two most important steps in any marketing initiative are:

1.  Ask yourself what you want your customers to do.

2.  Tell your customer to do it.

Oh, and one more tip . . . trying to tip over the entire machine so that the purple dinosaur just falls into the win box gets Friendly’s managers really, really irritated.


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



– Win a FREE admission to TedX Broadway.  Click here to enter!

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Who won Will It Recoup? Contest and Kindle Winner Announced!

Seems like just yesterday we were all freezing our spotlights off and picking the shows we thought would make money in this year’s Will It Recoup!  (If you aren’t familiar with our game, click here for the original post).

While the accounting statements may not be finalized yet, I think it’s pretty safe to say that there were three shows out of the ten in the field that recouped:

That Championship Season
Ghetto Klown
The Mother with the Hat

So first, a big congrats to Broadway for the 30% success rate.  Not so bad, in this era of rising costs, wouldn’t you say?

And a second congrats to reader Nick Coltone who scored a 100% in this year’s contest!  Nick, you gotta start investing and producing shows because you’ve got an eye for the ones that work.  Just imagine what you could have done if you had some real skin in the game. 🙂

Nick, drop me an email, and we’ll drop you a Kindle in the mail.

And the rest of you, there’s always next year.  Or maybe even this fall.  We’re thinking about rolling out a fall version of Will It Recoup. What do you think?

But before we do that, back to the 30% success rate, which is pretty consistent with what the industry says is the average number of shows that recoup per year.

That’s actually pretty decent in a high risk industry in my opinion.

But that’s not what gets me excited.

If 30% is the average, then doesn’t it make sense that with education, research and market analysis, an individual should be able to do better than that?  Doesn’t that mean that you should be able to pick winners 40% of the time?  50%?  Or even more?

I’d bet yes.


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



– 79 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

– Win 2 tickets to Hair on Broadway, and tell us what you think about nudity in theater. Click here!


Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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