[REMINDER] 10 Days until Apps Due for the Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund Scholarships

Yesterday, I wrote a post to the recently graduated seniors who are jumping into the deep end of the biz right now (with less water in the pool).

Today’s post is a quick reminder to the future TheaterMakers who are still in school . . . as well as those TheaterMakers who need assistance to keep creating.

A month ago I announced two scholarships in honor of my Dad called The Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund, and the deadline for applications is due in 10 days . . . on July 31st!

For more info and to apply, click here.

My dad looks forward to encouraging you to keep creating.

And please share if you know a student that could use some help with their tuition.

 

[Announcement] The Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund Scholarship For TheaterMakers

A few (choice) words from Governor Cuomo (that may sound familiar).

This will be brief.

And it will NOT be a trashy takedown of our Governor. Because he has done a fantastic job facing this monster of a crisis.

No, no. The choice words I have for him are his own

Let me explain . . .

After New York hit the apex, our Governor appealed for aid from the federal government.

And every day he expressed frustration at how Congress was talking about diving up the money.

His argument was simple . . . More money should go to the states that suffered the most.

He even got into Twitter fights about it.

And of course, he was right. The people who hurt the most should get the most help.

So, Governor (and Honorable Mayor de Blasio, as well), I hope that logic will apply to Broadway and the theater as well.

See, the theater is one of the hardest hit industries in our city, our state . . . and on the damn planet. There is no curbside pick-up for the theater. No take-out. No 50% occupancy.

It’s all or nothing. And for the foreseeable future, it’s nothing.

When you give the green light for New York to enter ‘Stage 4 on Monday’ (cross fingers), theater doors will remain shut.

And almost 100,000 actors, musicians, stagehands, and more will remain out of work.

Like New York state, these individuals suffer the most.

And, at the same time, these individual are part of an industry that has an economic impact of $14.7 billion a year.

So, using your logic, shouldn’t the industry that is suffering the most, yet providing the most, get the most?

Isn’t this the same as you telling the fed that New York should get the most, because it paid the most to federal coffers?

You know why this blog can be brief?

Because what you said makes so much sense.

And now it makes sense for us.

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Interested in hearing more about how Broadway and the theater comes back?  Last chance to join the 3 Part video series that started earlier this week.  But the 3rd video – about safety in the era of coronavirus – is still to come!  And when you sign up, you get access to the other vids as well.  Click here.

[Announcement] The Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund Scholarship For TheaterMakers

On March 22nd of this year, just a few months after moving into the city to be closer to me and his granddaughter, my Dad, Dr. Kenny Hasija, had a stroke. And as the sun was coming up on Easter morning, he passed.

It has been an interesting time to deal with this loss to say the least, because my Dad was my coach, my cheerleader, my chief strategist, and my friend. Because boy oh boy, could I have used his caring counsel over the past few months.

And as the corona-crisis continues, I am going to miss having him around over the next several months to do what he did so well, and encourage me to keep on keepin’ on.

My dad has been encouraging me since my earliest memory of him. He urged me to learn more, to try more, to speak up more, to fail more, to fight more, to love more . . . and he sacrificed more than he ever let on to make sure I could take every opportunity I had.

Put it this way . . . how many immigrant Indian Doctors do you know who would say, “Go for it,” when their son said he wanted to give up on law school and pursue a life in the theater???

(He didn’t even blink, by the way.)

His encouragement kept me going then . . . and as I vowed to him in his final few days, I will always keep going.

I also vowed to do everything I could to pass on that spirit of encouragement to my daughter, and to anyone else I met who had a passion for the theater.

So, I started a simple scholarship in his name . . . called The “Dr. Kenny” (as he liked to be called) Encouragement Fund.

I was planning on issuing just one $1,000 gift to someone attending school in the fall and pursuing a career in the theater industry. But after I wrote my blog on Wednesday about the number of artists who may already be out of school but struggling to stay in the city to pursue their dreams, I decided to offer two:

  1.  $1,000 to someone enrolled in or going to post-secondary school.
  2.  $1,000 to any TheaterMaker out there pursuing a career in the business.

If you would like to apply for these scholarships or know someone who would, please click here or share this blog.

Because as I’ve learned from being on the juries for other scholarships, it’s actually hard to get the word out to the folks who could use these funds the most. So please, share this sucker around so we can help encourage folks to keep making theater.

Because we’re going to need TheaterMakers more than ever when this is all over.

I’m hoping to continue this scholarship every year, and I’m hoping that it grows, and that my father’s encouragement to me from above can help me add some zeroes to these amounts.  (If you want to help and join some of my family and my father’s friends who are committed to encouraging others, and learn a bit more about my dad, click here.)

To be honest, I even thought about waiting to start this scholarship until I got that big fat hit I will have someday and I could give more.

But then, on Father’s Day this year, I remembered some of the encouraging advice that my Dad gave me years ago.

“Just start, Kenneth. Begin. A seed can’t grow until it is planted.”

I hope that my Dad’s advice and this gift can help encourage some of you.

To apply, click here.

 

[Update] What You Told Us Were Your Top 3 Concerns About TheaterMaking.

A few blogs ago I announced that we’d be taking our Fall conference virtual this year and asked you for a favor – to tell us what two burning questions you had about creating theater in the new world.

We got hundreds and hundreds of very passionate responses (I’m not surprised).  And there were three subjects that were far and away the most important to you TheaterMakers out there right now.

And I was also not surprised to see what they were.

Can you guess?

(I’ll wait while you do . . . go on, guess, and then scroll down.)

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The three issues about TheaterMaking in the new world that are top of your mind are:

1. SAFETY. How can we ensure the safety of audiences, actors, and creators going back into theaters?

2. EQUALITY. How do we raise the voices of people of color and other underrepresented minorities not only on stage, but behind the table and in the offices where decisions are made?

3. STREAMING. How can we create a sustainable business model to be able to stream shows worldwide?

 

How’d you do?  Guess them all?

I can’t thank you enough for filling out that survey and for helping us understand what is on your minds so we can make sure that we curate our conference accordingly and feature these three issues (and many more) in our content line-up.

But it was also clear to me from the overwhelming majority of people who mentioned the three subjects above that we shouldn’t wait until November to start conversations about these important issues now.

So, I asked my staffers at The TheaterMakers Studio to develop a 3-part video interview series with an expert on each of the subjects above.

If you’d like access to this special (and free) video series, click here to sign up.

The videos will be released starting on July 7th and will only be available to those who request access – because I don’t want to send you more emails than we already do.  🙂

I look forward to jumpstarting these conversations now, so we can jumpstart the action to improve TheaterMaking for all of us.

Sign up here.

 

It’s an Altar Boyz Reunion . . . with the Original Cast, Creatives and More!

Now we’re REALLY gettin’ the band back together!

The original band that is . . . the band that started it all . . . the Altar Boyz!!!

Altar Boyz was the first musical I produced and was both one of the most thrilling and scariest things I’ve ever done (because honestly, I didn’t know what the @#$% I was doing half the time).

It turned out ok, though, running for 5 years Off-Broadway, spawning a couple of tours and umpteen productions around the world (if you’ve ever been to my office, you’ve seen the poster from the Korean production).

And the reason it turned out so awesomely was the incredible group of people who made that show with me.

So I decided to get them all together on my Livestream on TUESDAY, JUNE 9th to give them a big virtual kiss-on-the-mouth because I’ve missed them so much and to relive some fantastic memories (The Altar Van, anyone?  The “album signing” when the limo didn’t show up?  And the dressing room antics that are not fit for print OR for the livestream – that means you, Joberg!)

Here’s who will be there:

Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker, Composers & Lyricists
Kevin Del Aguila, Bookwriter
Marc Kessler, Co-Conceiver
Robyn Goodman, Producer
Stafford Arima, Director
Christopher Gattelli, Choreographer
Lynne Shankel, Music Director & Co-Orchestrator

And that original cast, who have made quite the name for themselves:

Scott Porter, Matthew
Tyler Maynard, Mark
Andy Karl, Luke
Ryan Duncan, Juan
David Josefsberg, Abraham
Kevin Kern (“Wonder-study” #1)
Daniel Torres (“Wonder-study” #2)

And maybe a few surprise guests as well!

So if you’re an Altarholic, tune in on June 9th, to The Producer’s Perspective LIVE!, to hear all about how the show was developed (including rehearsals in my apartment) and much more.  And the boyz will even take some questions!

Oh, and the more you donate to The Actors Fund the juicier the stories get.

And maybe, just MAYBE, we’ll hear a classic Altar Boyz tune . . . and maybe even a NEW ONE!!!

 

Click here to get a reminder for the Altar Boyz reunion on Tuesday, June 9th at 8pm EDT / 7pm CDT / 6pm MDT / 5pm PDT.

And if you need an Altar fix now, listen to the cast recording: on Spotify, on Amazon, and on Apple Music.

See you and The Boyz on the livestream on June 9th at 8pm EDT!


TONIGHT ON THE LIVESTREAM: I’m sitting down with Broadway Choreographer Kelly Devine at 8pm EDT. You can now watch on my Facebook page or Twitter, on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube channel, or Broadway On Demand.

 

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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