In case you weren’t there, here’s what I said – in a picture.

The only thing I enjoy more than speaking to Theater Organizations (and I’ve had the honor of speaking to a bunch over the last few years, from The Irish Theatre Forum to The International Thespian Society), is speaking to Non-Theater Organizations.

And last September, I was asked to speak at Cre8Con in Portland – which brought together creative types from across all industries.  It’s a great conference and, if you’re in the Northwest, go check it out next year.

I did one of my favorite talks – about “serving the tennis ball” and the one thing that the most successful people I know have in common about how they got started.

I had almost forgotten about it . . . and then Cr8Con sent me the coolest thing – a graphic encapsulation of the talk.  I thought it was such a unique “gift” that I had to share it.

See if you get a clue as to what the @#$% I was talking about it from the below.

And go check out Cr8Con!

 

 

 


One of my missions is to get more people talking about the theater and the arts.  So if you want me to speak at your next event, click here.

What is recouping on Broadway anyway? Part II.

Last week, I published the results of some research I did into the recoupment % of new Broadway musicals over the last half a decade.

The conclusion was that the % of those musicals that are recouping is consistent with the age ol’ industry average of about 20%.

But after I did the math, I took a deeper look at the actual new musicals in this period that were in the black.

Here they are:

Fun Home
Waitress
School of Rock
Hamilton
Dear Evan Hansen
Come From Away
The Band’s Visit
Ain’t Too Proud*
Hadestown

*An assumption based on current grosses.

It’s a fascinating list . . . isn’t it?  Do you see what I see?

Only one of them, School of Rock, is a “big” movie to musical adaptation (Waitress and Band’s Visit were films – but not high profile by any means).

And the only jukebox tuner to make money (we’re assuming this) is Ain’t Too Proud.  

The rest, a whopping 78% . . . are small to medium-sized musicals, and most of them with small to medium-sized brands (or in the case of one of the biggest successes, Dear Evan Hansen, NO pre-existing brand).

And none, zero, opened with any Hollywood stars.

So, while it’s easy for Broadway Producers, Broadway Investors and even Broadway Theatergoers to think that what is making money on Broadway are the giant movie-to-musical adaptations or big-budget spectacles . . . that’s just not the case.

Just because they’re making it to Broadway, doesn’t mean they are making it on Broadway.

And if you were choosing a show to produce, invest in, or write, you might opt for the lesser-known, more original, and unique properties than the big-branded one.

It might seem like more risk on the way in, but the numbers say these types of musicals are actually less risky than the others . . . especially since their running costs are typically lower, which means higher profit margins when they do recoup (again, see Dear Evan Hansen).

But what I love about the 78% of those new musicals that are cashing in is this:

Take a second and look at the subjects of these new musicals.  The story of Alexander Hamilton told through hip hop.  A teenager dealing with anxiety who may be suicidal.  A lesbian comic book writer whose secretly gay father kills himself.  What happens in a Canadian town after 9/11.  A show that has “Hades” in the actual title!!!

I’d bet you the capitalization of all of them, combined, that at one point, someone said to every single one of the creators of these shows . . . “This should never be a musical.”

And not only are they musicals, but they are money-making musicals.

So to the TheaterMakers, make what you wanna make.  That’s where your heart . . . and the money is.

– – – – –

Like this series?  It’s not over yet.  Next week, I tackle REVIVALS.  Sign up here to be the first to read the results of my research.

Broadway Grosses w/e 01/19/2020: Oh, Not A Beautiful Mornin’

Last week grosses dipped slightly by 3% to $30M. The holiday weekend did not bring the typical attendance boost, which actually dropped by 4%.

Two productions played their final performances last week. Both Oklahoma! and Slave Play played to full houses for their final bows.

You can find the rest of the figures below, courtesy of The Broadway League:

Show Name Gross TotalAttn  %Capacity Avg.PdAdm
A SOLDIER’S PLAY $320,552.50 5,472 94.87% $58.58
AIN’T TOO PROUD $1,359,169.30 10,780 94.63% $126.08
ALADDIN $1,147,278.40 13,022 94.25% $88.10
AMERICAN UTOPIA $1,137,504.00 5,766 100.00% $197.28
BEETLEJUICE $1,357,341.20 11,711 98.05% $115.90
CHICAGO $653,891.30 7,186 83.17% $91.00
COME FROM AWAY $901,336.70 8,494 101.51% $106.11
DEAR EVAN HANSEN $1,059,025.14 7,918 100.58% $133.75
FROZEN $1,050,845.00 12,219 90.70% $86.00
GRAND HORIZONS $215,800.68 3,722 79.53% $57.98
HADESTOWN $1,254,171.50 7,445 101.38% $168.46
HAMILTON $2,724,599.00 10,758 101.57% $253.26
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, PARTS ONE AND TWO $1,177,060.00 12,976 100.00% $90.71
JAGGED LITTLE PILL $1,089,725.30 9,032 100.36% $120.65
MEAN GIRLS $971,684.50 9,349 95.40% $103.93
MOULIN ROUGE! $1,780,175.50 10,419 100.03% $170.86
MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON $408,244.80 4,462 98.67% $91.49
OKLAHOMA! $672,071.30 5,389 103.48% $124.71
SLAVE PLAY $775,716.20 6,332 99.81% $122.51
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,151,435.25 8,358 99.79% $137.76
THE INHERITANCE $482,254.04 5,386 64.24% $89.54
THE LION KING $1,687,677.00 12,804 94.37% $131.81
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $881,005.32 9,872 76.88% $89.24
TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL $1,643,762.00 11,752 99.39% $139.87
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD $1,637,162.00 11,596 101.01% $141.18
WEST SIDE STORY $1,430,906.00 12,180 100.00% $117.48
WICKED $1,472,994.00 13,605 94.11% $108.27
TOTALS $30,443,387.93 248,005 95.10% $120.83
+/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON -$1,255,801.84      
PERCENTAGE +/- THIS WEEK LAST SEASON -3.962%
Today’s blog was guest-written by Ryan Conway, President of Architect Theatrical. Find out more here!

Want a job in the theater? Join our TheaterMakers Studio Production Team Database!

The theater is a collaborative art form.  Even one-person shows can’t be done on their own.  (At the very least, you need at least one person in your audience!)

The cool thing about meeting the right collaborator is that your energy to make something happen doubles, triples, and increases exponentially with each person you add.  And then one day, you’ll find yourself sitting in a Broadway theater teching your show, looking around at the hundred people working on it with you. . . and remembering when it was just you, in your room, with an idea (yes, I’ve had this moment several times).

This is why we encourage TheaterMakers to meet other TheaterMakers and get them signed up on their show, or simply just meet for coffee and brainstorm!

And, believe it or not, one of the most common questions I get asked is . . . “Ken, where can I find a Director/Designer/Composer/Orchestrator/Actor, etc.”  Shocking, right?  Because we all know how many people are desperately looking to work as a Director/Designer/Composer/Orchestrator/Actor, etc.

That’s why we’ve started a TheaterMaker Production Team Database . . . so when you need someone for your show . . . or if you’re a TheaterMaker looking for a job on a show . . . you know where to look.

Post your profile if you’re a Director of plays or a Choreographer of musicals.  Or a Writer, Investor, Designer or whatever.

Search through the profiles if you’re looking for any of the above, or are just looking to meet someone who shares the same passion of making shows as you do, and see what you can cook up together.

Whatever you’re looking for, it’s in our brand new, free TheaterMaker Database. And it’s now open for your submission and browsing pleasure!

Click here to check it out and create your free profile now.

And do it now.

Ask yourself.  What do you have to lose by signing up?  And putting yourself out there?

Only a possible collaboration that could take you exactly where you want to go.

It takes 30 seconds.  Sign up and start working (with someone else) today.

Sign up for the TheaterMaker Production Database here.

 

It’s official! Rave Theater Festival Coming Back in 2020. Dates are . . .

I mean, you can’t make this @#$% up.

Last year, I announced that my office was finding some scraps of time and money here and there to put together a brand new theater festival right here in the theater capital of the world.  Why?  Because, as I wrote here, festivals have become an endangered species in New York City.

And then, and punch me in the face if me putting that negative thought out in the universe helped make it happen, two weeks ago, the New York Musical Festival, my favorite festival in the world, announced it was closing its theater doors, now and forever.

And while NYMF was the Tiffany’s of musical theater festivals and many folks couldn’t afford to produce their shows at that level even if they got accepted, it still is a devastating loss to the TheaterMaker community.

Now look, we were so inspired by the artists and art that RAVE presented last year, not to mention the incredible response from the press that we received, that we were well on our way to committing to a second year.  But when we heard the news about NYMF, we knew we didn’t have a choice.

And then we added even more shows to this year’s RAVE lineup to try and make up the industry’s loss.

So, yaaaaasssss, RAVE is happening!  From July 24th – August 9th, 2020  And this year, we grabbed Off Broadway’s famous Soho Playhouse as our venue.

Submissions are NOW being accepted through March 1st, with a discount on your submission fee if you get it in by February 2nd.  Click here to apply.

Oh, and if you were one of the submitters to NYMF this year . . . your submission fee is on us.  Check here to see how to get your free entry.

If you made a New Year’s Resolution to get your show or your career into 2nd, 3rd or 4th gear this year, then submit your script now.

If your script isn’t completed yet, or even if you don’t have a script, you’ve got plenty of time to finish it and submit.   You never know what may happen if you do . . . you definitely know what will happen if you do not.  (Nothing!)

We will see you there.

Visit www.RaveTheaterFestival.com for more information.

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