A few days ago, Playbill.com ran a great feature on the upcoming Off-Broadway season (which you can read here). But I have to admit, there was something about the article that I hated.
There were 33 plays and musicals mentioned for the coming months.
And only 2 of them were commercial.
And neither of those 2 are plays.
Both Bare and Forever Dusty (the two commercials) are musicals, set to open this fall at New World Stages, and the rest of thirty-something entries into our theatrical atmosphere are non-profit productions.
I also think the article missed one . . . Falling, the new play by Deanna Jent, which opens in October, starring Julia Murney.
But still . . . that’s one.
Now, as the Editor’s note in the Playbill.com article states, “The Off-Broadway universe – like the actual universe – is wide, unknowable and ever-expanded,” so there may be a few that pop up or have been missed . . . and I do know there are a few 1-3 performance a week type shows opening in the fall that weren’t a part of this preview (which actually makes this trend even more interesting).
But as of now, there is just that 1 for-profit, eight show/week, play opening this fall season. And only 2 musicals.
The challenges of producing Off-Broadway have only increased exponentially over the last years, and that’s no good for Producers . . . or Actors . . . or Designers . . . or Theater Owners . . . or Writers . . . or Audiences . . . or anyone.
There has to be some sort of commercial Off-Broadway stimulus package to get the for-profit productions pumping again. It’s too vital.
Off-Broadway should be a place where artists and producers can take more risks, not a place where they run from them.
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