Katori Hall wins Pulitzer Prize for The Hot Wing King

In case you missed the news last week, there was indeed a winner this year for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama!

(There have been several years where the award was not given – and in a year where there wasn’t a lot of theater as we usually know it – there was some worry that it’d get skipped again.)

But nope.  We have a winner!

Katori Hall’s play The Hot Wing King, “the story of two gay black men in Memphis, Tennessee navigating love, life, and family” picked up one of the most coveted awards in the world, the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

The show opened at Signature Theater Company in February 2020 before being postponed, but was still granted eligibility for this year’s prize.

(Hall has had a busy couple of years – penning the book (and getting a Tony nomination) for Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.  And she was the Executive Producer and Showrunner for P-Valley on Starz, based on her play.  Oh, and she also appeared on my livestream – click here to watch that video).

Another interesting tid bit about this year’s awards was that one of the finalists was a “streamed” production – Patrick Foley and Michael Breslin’s Circle Jerk. 

So yes, my theatermakin’ friends and theatermakin’ fans, streaming is here to stay.

Congrats to Katori, and all the finalists . . . and, well, anyone that got their play off the ground in the past 12 months.  You all deserve awards, just for making it happen.

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Watch my interview with Katori Hall here.

June 4, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

 

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

 

1 – Jordan Fisher Will Return to Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway When It Reopens

The Broadway production will resume its run at the Music Box Theatre on December 11. Jordan Fisher confirmed on Good Morning America that he would once again lead the company as Evan Hansen, alongside the company that was appearing in the show when theaters shut down.

Read  more: www.theatermania.com

 

 2 – Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color has updated its website to include a contact database for stage managers of color 

Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color provides opportunities to stage managers of color to learn from people in the industry and provide insights to help stage managers of color start, maintain, and advance a career in the arts through free networking and educational events.

Read more: www.broadwaybeyondaccess.com

 

3- Broadway’s Hottest Marketing Tool: Streaming Shows

The Pandemic has helped normalize streaming theater and it seems here to stay, and there’s a business model there.

Read more: www.variety.com

 

4 – Black Theatre Coalition Announces Paid Fellowship Program for Aspiring Theatre Makers

The application submissions will be accepted for six weeks beginning June 1, 2021 through July 16, 2021 with 12-month Fellowships.

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com

 

5 – New York City to Tie Tourism Campaign to In the Heights

NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism organization, is launching a campaign tied to the film to promote Washington Heights.

Read more: www.wsj.com

 

Fun on a Friday: 

Jordan Fisher performs ‘You Will Be Found’ from Dear Evan Hansen.

 

 


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What I Learned About TheaterMaking From Those “As Seen On TV” Commercials.

I didn’t sleep much in my 20s. And 30s. And whenever I’m in tech.

I worked into the wee hours. It was lonely in my apartment (being an artrepreneur often is, am I right?), so I kept the television on.

And at about 2:30 AM, the late night shopping commercials started. For the Chia Pet, The Flowbee and those famed Ginsu knives.

They were distracting. And I found myself drawn to them . . . even considering purchasing a set of those knives . . . when I didn’t even cook!

Then I realized what worked about those commercials. And now the most successful plays and musicals from Show Boat to Hamilton, used a VERY similar technique.

I wrote about what you can learn about how to make a hit using this same strategy on The TheaterMakers Blog recently. Read it here.  

Podcast Episode #235: 3 Reasons Why Crowdfunding Did Not Take Off On Broadway

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS EPISODE:  15 Minutes

LISTEN WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS:

 

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

It has been 10 years (!) since I crowdfunded Godspell. It remains one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in this business. 

But, like most difficult things, it was also one of the best things I ever did for my business. And my life.

Not only did we fund the production, and help launch the careers of some superstars, but I’m also still friends with many of “People of Godspell”, which is what we called our Producers and Investors (we had over 730 of them!).

After we successfully crowdfunded the show, using an old regulation called a “Reg A,” Congress passed The Jobs Act . . . which made it MUCH easier for businesses to crowdfund.

Everyone predicted an explosion of this type of microfinancing in all industries . . . Broadway and Off-Broadway included.

And it didn’t happen.

I don’t know of ONE Broadway or Off-Broadway production to utilize the new “Regulation CF” since it was passed.

Why?

Here are three reasons why.  Listen to this episode to learn more.

AFTER YOU LISTEN:

  • FOLLOW The Producer’s Perspective on Apple Podcast (it’s FREE!)
  • REVIEW the Podcast on Apple Podcast (it’s the biggest compliment you can give)
  • SHARE this episode with your friends!
  • JOIN the TheaterMakers Facebook Group

 

My mission is to get more people talking about the theater.  The more people talking about it, the more people who want to make it, perform it, support it, etc.  And that’s how theater not only survives, but thrives.

The biggest compliment you can give me is by sharing this podcast.

I thank you and the theater thanks you!

 

RECENT EPISODES:

May 28, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

1 – Hadestown announces Sept. 2 reopening on Broadway

Hadestown announced Monday that it will return to Broadway September 2, almost two weeks earlier than the previously scheduled opening date for the industry. 

Read more: broadwaynews.com

 

2 – Tony Awards announce fall broadcast on Paramount+, Broadway special on CBS

A presentation of The Tony Awards will air at 7 p.m. EST Sept 26. on Paramount+. At 9 p.m. EST, CBS will air a special entitled “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” which will feature performances from the Tony-nominated Best Musicals and a live presentation of the Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Revival of a Play and Best Musical.

Read more: broadwaynews.com

 

3 – Fitness memberships, Broadway shows and Governor’s Ball tickets part of NYC’s vaccine contest giveaway

Mayor Bill de Blasio invited unvaccinated New Yorkers on Monday to come, get their shot and enter for a chance to win big prizes including Broadway shows, tickets to Governor’s Ball and more.

Read more: amny.com

 

4 – Sen. Chuck Schumer, industry leaders on Broadway’s reopening and questions that remain

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and leaders of Broadway gathered in Times Square Friday to speak to Broadway’s reopening and the passage of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. 

Read more: broadwaynews.com

 

5 – Curtain Up! Broadway.com Gifts Theater Tickets to 100 New York City Small Business Owners

One hundred small business owners who represent the five boroughs of New York City and the diversity that makes NYC so special have been chosen as the winners of the I Love NYC SMB Campaign.

Read more: broadway.com

 

Fun on a Friday:

In honor of the Tony Awards and Hadestown re-opening announcements this week, lets throw it back to their incredible Tony’s performance, where they won Best Musical that night!

 

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