The Broadway Producer Pick List 2019!

We’ve done a lot of fun things on this blog over the years, but the Broadway Producer Pick List is one of our favorites.

See, every year, our office receives a ton of scripts from all sorts of folks . . .  agents, friends, investors, TheaterMakers, not to mention the cold submissions we get.

We work very hard to go through them all.  It takes us a while, as you can imagine, but we do get to everything eventually (please have patience, my friends!).  And while the process is a bit like panning for gold, we do get a lot of good, solid nuggets.

The problem is?  I can’t produce everything . . . even if I wanted to!  And I’m also . . . this may be hard for some playwrights to understand, I’m actually not the best Producer for some shows.

That doesn’t mean just because we “pass” on something that it isn’t good.  It means it just isn’t for us . . . right now.

But it might be right for someone else . . . a Producer, a Regional Theater, an agent, etc.

That’s why a few years ago we started the Producer Pick List to highlight the 10 Best Plays or Musicals we read in the previous year that we are not going to pick up, for one reason or another (and quality ain’t got nothing to do with it – to read more about how we choose the shows on this list, check out my blog post from 2016.)

By listing these shows here, our hope is that they will find the home they deserve, and the writer will get the attention he/she/they deserve.

The official list for 2019 is below, along with links to the material from each show, all for your reading/listening and, hopefully, producing pleasure.

And hey – even if you can’t produce one of these shows – drop the writer a line and say that you like their stuff and to keep you in mind for the future. It’s my belief that whether or not these shows “make it,” the writers certainly will.  Besides, telling someone you like what they’re doing is just great karma and might help someone keep making theater.

Congratulations to everyone on the list and here’s to productions for all of them in 2020!

The Producer Pick List of 2019

  1. Parallel Lines by Clé
  2. Fable by Doug Devita
  3. Emergency by Jacob and Jeff Foy
  4. The Bloody Deed of 1857 by Elise Gainer
  5. Hello Kitty Must Die by Gail Rastorfer and Kurt Johns
  6. Between Panic and Desire by Bear Kosik
  7. Meet Your Mountain by Rockwell and Rose
  8. Allan Carr: Can’t Stop The Stories by Michael Shayne
  9. Rewind by Michael DiGaetano and Adam Shenk
  10. When the Silence Sings by Rene Zabel

And to see who’s made the list in the past, click here for 2016 and 2018.

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.

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.

Podcast Episode 205: Our Season Finale Mashup! In case you missed . . .

And in the blink of a podcast, our fall season has vanished like the leaves on the trees.

It’s been an exciting few months of podcastin’ for us and when I thought about how best to wrap up this season, I thought . . . what would Happy Days do?

Some of my favorite episodes of my favorite childhood sitcoms like Happy Days and Different Strokes and Silver Spoons (I so wanted to be Ricky Schroeder) were the compilation episodes that tied together the best scenes from the best episodes of the series.

So that’s what we did for you!

For this season finale, we mashed-up clips from all of our guests throughout the season!  Listened to them already?  Be reminded of some of the truth bombs and greatest lessons.  Missed an episode? This is a chance for you to get the cliff notes!

You’ll get some of the top takeaways, stories, and maybe even me beatboxing.

Listen in and hear: 

  • Anthony Veneziale’s key to success when starting out 
  • Ali Stroker’s “ninja patience” and how she gets through any challenge that comes her way
  • How building a career outside of Broadway helped Mara Isaacs to see Broadway differently and why she wants to maintain her “outsider status” for as long as she can
  • Why Alan Cumming feels it’s so important to not try to pretend to be perfect all of the time
  • And much, much more!

Enjoy . . . and if you like this mashup idea, let me know and we’ll do it again!

  • Click here to listen on our site!
  • Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)
  • Download it here.

Thank you to Julie Halston, Mark Sendroff, Stephanie Lee, Susan Blackwell, Adam Gwon, Anthony Veneziale, Ali Stroker, Mara Isaacs, Charlotte Wilcox, Ken Cerniglia, Glen Kelly, and Alan Cumming for joining me on the podcast this season!  

If there’s anyone you want to hear from next season, let me know. I want to bring in who the listeners want to hear. Message me your requests on Instagram and I’ll do my best to get them on the podcast next season! And while you wait for us to come back (mark your calendars!) on February 24th, catch up on the rest of the 200+ episodes here!

Thanks, Terry Knickerbocker, for supporting this episode. Terry Knickerbocker Studio offers a two-year acting conservatory, workshops, studio rentals, one-on-one coaching, beginner acting classes, and the best actor training in New York. For more information, visit terryknickerbockerstudio.com

The final #SongWriterOfTheWeek for the 2019 season is . . . Kerrigan-Lowdermilk! And my good friend and Godspell company member, Lindsay Mendez is singing their song called Hand in Hand from their immersive house party musical THE BAD YEARS. If you like what you hear and want to learn more, check out www.kerrigan-lowdermilk.com or @kerrigan_lowdermilk on Instagram.   

Happy holidays and “see” you back on the podcast for the spring season in February!

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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