Do you own or run a theater? Could this be an opportunity?

If this blog reads like a classified ad, it should.

I believe in what Einstein said . . . “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”

And well, I see an opportunity . . . for those theaters out there looking to get into the pre-Broadway tryout game.

See, the pipeline is clogged up thanks to Covid. And because of restrictions in some markets, that pipeline could continue to be clogged up.

That could leave a LOT of developing shows with no place to go.

So . . . do you run or own a theater? And do you want to start hosting “pre-Broadway” tryouts?  And do you expect to be up and running at full capacity in the late fall?

Email me and let me play connector so that everyone can benefit!

On the anniversary: Dr. Kenny Dipchand Hasija 10/13/29 – 4/12/20

Dear “Kenny” . . . as you asked me to call you since I could speak. Not dad, no. Because you wanted me to know you were as much a friend as a father.
That’s one of the reasons that today, the one-year anniversary of your passing, is harder than I ever thought it would be. Because for the last twelve months, it felt like two of the closest people in my life were gone.
I know, I know. You’re not gone. And you never will be. I’ll never forget when you and my mother divorced and you told me we would always be together. Always. “We might not be in the same house or in the same state or even on the same continent, Kenneth, but anywhere we go in our lives, we are connected. Always.” And that we are. Because I can hear your support and encouragement with everything I do.
I do want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we never got to go to The Met. I’m sorry that this damn pandemic didn’t allow me to hold your hand when you finally left us on that Easter morning. I’m sorry that it has not been safe for me to travel to your childhood home in India and to spread your ashes in the Ganges as you told me you wanted. I know you understand. You always did. But know that as soon as I can, I will lay your spirit to rest in those waters, so that you may join your mother, and your young brother, and be at peace in the land you left so long ago.
And yes, yes, I know what you’re going to ask. And I will. I promise. I said, I promise! (Now, I know where I get my stubborn side.) And when I do it, I will owe it ALL to you.
Rest, my father and my friend. Thank you for what you did for me while you were here, and what I know you are doing for me, for your granddaughter (your “genetic code” as you said), and for my whole family, from high above us all.
Love,
Kenneth Anjum Hasija
In remembrance of Dr. Kenny Dipchand Hasija 10/13/29 – 4/12/20

March 26, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Every week, there are many conversations involving our industry — new shows in development, scholarship opportunities, virtual events, discussions about Broadway’s reopening, and more! Sometimes it can be too much to keep track of week after week so my team and I have decided to share the top 5 news articles each week to help you stay in the know!!

From an In The Heights new trailer and new book to Mayor de Blasio’s big Broadway announcement, here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – In the Heights Debuts Energy-Filled Trailer Celebrating Latinx Culture

After waiting 96,000 weeks . . . the wait is finally over. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s adaptation of his Tony-nominated musical “In the Heights,” directed by Jon M. Chu will deliver on its promise of celebrating Latinx culture in New York City when it hits theaters and HBO Max on June 18. Did you know Lin-Manuel Miranda is coming out with a new book, In The Heights, Finding Home? Pre-order here and grab your copy before June 22!

Read more: variety.com 

 

2 – The Directors Company Announces Inaugural Next Wave Initiative Winners

Announced last year, the initiative seeks to amplify new Black voices in theatre, with space for writers, directors, actors, and dancers. Douglas Lyons and The Directors Company has announced the inaugural slate of winners of their Next Wave Initiative scholarships, each of which will receive financial scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,959 to support undergraduate or MFA education. 

Read more: playbill.com

 

3 – ‘Multi-Level Chess’: After A Dark Year, Broadway’s Recovery Is Finally Underway

It’s been a year since the live entertainment industry went dark, and the fallout has been catastrophic. Hundreds of venues have closed permanently. In New York alone, Broadway’s shutdown left a hole in the economy. Now, after the darkest year in its history, American theater is seeing a reason to hope. The path ahead remains precarious, with many unanswered questions about safety, economics, and equity, but it’s no longer the bleak vista it was even a month ago.

Read more: forbes.com 

 

4 –  What It Will Take for New York Theater to Come Back as the Industry and Community It Professes to Be

“What we do in the remaining downtime of this shutdown will determine the health and future of the industry.” Ruthie Fierberg, the former Executive Editor of Features for Playbill, has broken down the various parts of what has been done and perhaps what should be done before the curtains rise again. A lot of insights and challenges, which is what great reporting is all about!  

Read more: ruthiefierberg.com

 

5 – NYC Mayor De Blasio Announces Plans for Sites to Vaccinate Theatre Workers; Plans to Re-Open Broadway This Fall

“Start spreading the news!” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke live from City Hall on March 25, 2021, to announce his plans to start vaccinating theatermakers. Click to watch my Sondheim-y response to this announcement here

Read & watch more: broadwayworld.com 

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Want to be part of an online community of #theatermakers? Join 600+ theatermakers here. Best part? It’s completely free.

 

We ask again: Why Do Some Broadway Ticket Buyers Show Up At The Theater So Early?

Broadway Producers and Marketers are constantly wondering what makes our audiences member tick . . .and buy tick-ets.

What we often forget is that something like 40,000 of our customers walk through Times Square almost every day, steps away from our offices, and they’re just waiting for us to ask them questions.

So, from time to time, when I’ve got a question burning in my craw (what does that even mean?), that’s exactly what I do.

In this case, the question was . . . Why do some (and so many) theatergoers get to the theater so early . . . so early that they have to line up outside the theater, because the doors aren’t open yet?!  You’ve seen this phenomenon, right?  Just walk by the Majestic Theater on 44th St on a Wednesday at 1 PM, and see how many folks are in line for the 2 PM show.  I mean, that’s early!  And we don’t even have movie-like previews!

(Side note: these long lines are huge security challenges for our theaters and our city – I’ll let you think about why.)

Last winter, I sent a team of interns TO those lines to ask folks what got them to queue up so dang early, but since it was like 8 degrees out, I thought the answers might have been a bit skewed.  So, I sent a new team of interns out this summer to collect more data . . . and we aggregated the results for you here!

So, below, please see the results of our survey.

What excites me about it is the responses; the desire for audience members to take in the entire Broadway experience (which means maybe we should add “previews” or something of extra value before the show begins) as well as the FOMO answer (because it means that seeing a show is still an event – even if they don’t dress up for it anymore!).

What trends do you see in the below?  And do you get to the theater early?

Check out these numbers!

Want to see all the details of polls for winter? Check out this link!

10 Takeaways from our Promote U Conference.

Last Friday, close to 100 Theater-Makers gathered in a sky-lit conference room to talk about the #1 thing that all business owners must master in 2019 . . . marketing.  (And yes, if you’re a Writer, Director, Actor, Producer, Designer, Usher, whatever . . . you are your own business owner.)

25 years ago, there were only a few ways to market yourself . . . letters, phone calls and ol’ school schmoozing.

Now?  Well, shoot, there are umpteen ways to promote yourself or your show . . . and when done well, you can get yourself a gig, an agent, investors, theaters, licensing deals, or whatever the heck you want.

Because good marketing is simple science.  Apply enough force to an object and the object will move.  Put marketing energy behind your “product” and you will see results.

And here’s the thing . . . if you’re not promoting yourself or your show, I can promise you there are a zillion other people out there promoting theirs.

Guess who will get ahead first?

I know, I know, you don’t like the thought of putting yourself out there.  news flash – most people don’t.

But the smart ones realize they have to.  News flash:  If you won’t promote yourself or your show . . . no one will.

So while it’s ok to sit back and hope that someone sweeps you off your feet to a land of big royalty checks and great reviews, I can promise you the chance of that happening is like the chance of there being a special bonus episode of Game of Thrones that the fans actually enjoy.

This was the overall message of my fantastic speakers at our first Promote U Conference (and yes, we are planning another next year), and I gotta say . . . I learned a ton myself (especially with my LinkedIn page.)

Since I know many of you couldn’t make it, I thought I’d blog you ten quick one-liner themes from our star speakers . . . and at the bottom of this blog, you’ll see a way to get the entire takeaway-laden tips.

Enjoy these 10 Takeaways from our first ever Promote U (and make sure you click on the links of each speaker to learn more about what they do and how they can help you).

Photo by Daniel Rader

Karen Tiber Leland (Growing Your Fan Base on Facebook): “Creating consistent on-brand content that contributes knowledge, as opposed to promoting it, will win in the long haul.”

Rodrick Covington (The Pillars of Productivity): “When you are clear about your identity, you become limitless.”

Ryan Scott Oliver (Getting Discovered on Youtube): “Don’t worry about going viral, just create quality content.”

Sierra Boggess (How To Be Your Authentic Self On Social): “You are enough, you are so enough, it’s unbelievable how enough you are!”  Get Sierra’s Light Lessons here.

Thomas Heath (How To Build Your Network on LinkedIn): “Claim your personal brand and make authentic connections.”

Tony Howell (Creating a Website That Tells And Sells Your Story): “Connect. Collect. Convert.”

Tyler Mount (How To Build Your Brand & Building Raving Fans on Instagram): “Authenticity and consistency are key.”

And one from me . . .

Ken Davenport (How I Generated Millions of Dollars in Free Advertising Without Spending a Dime): ”If you build it, they will come’ is bull@#S%!”

Photo by Daniel Rader

The irony is . . .  I used to think “building it” was enough.  And frankly?  25 years ago?  It probably was.  But not anymore.

If you build it, and no one sees it, you wasted your time.  Theatre is meant to be seen.  Not read.  Not sit on a shelf.  It NEEDS an audience.  You need an audience.

Master marketing . . . or heck, just get even a little bit better at it . . . and you’ll find one.

Enjoy these takeaways?  Want to see the complete talks from all the speakers above, including one from me where I reveal some of my secrets from my most successful marketing initiatives?  Click here.

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