Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ken Davenport Makes a Good Point

Ken Davenport, at Producer's Perspective, takes the non-profit theatres to task for their Broadway contributions in his post "More Stats on Who and What Are Winning Tonys." Here's the money quote to my mind:
"In the last 20 years, there has only been 3 New Play Tony Winners produced by non-profits. Obviously you can see what business the Broadway non-profits are in in this city: revivals, which are generally regarded as safer choices.

Seems odd, doesn't it? I know the mission statement for each theater is different, but you would think that non-profits would be the ones taking bigger risks, wouldn't you?"

Yes, wouldn't you...

1 comment:

Patrick Hudson said...

That may be the resident non-profits on Broadway, but not the non-profits in the rest of the country. However, very few, if any, of those non-profits will take their shows to Broadway without a for-profit producer getting involved. The for-profit producer isn't necessarily risking all that much if the show flops in a Boston, San Diego, Atlanta, or Chicago non-profit: the non-profit takes the reputation hit.

It's not like they are usually launching a completely new show on a Broadway stage. Almost every one has been fully produced at least once prior to going to Broadway. How many Broadway shows have never been seen (aside from a black-box or rehearsal hall workshop without production elements) by an audience before opening on Broadway?

Even Roundabout throws some cash at new work being done at other theatres just so they can get the same production (minus the preproduction work involved) and claim it as theirs if it is good.

Also, could it possibly be that while new work is getting produced by the Broadway non-profits, they simply aren't awarded Tonys? Remember who makes up a large part of the award committee: producers with a vested interest in the winners.