Revenue / 01.17.18
Off-Broadway Theater Is Evolving and It's More Profitable Than Ever
Original article published on Forbes (01/17/18) by Lee Seymour
The past year has been a bonanza for Off-Broadway theater thanks to a string of successes in venues with fewer than 500 seats, fueling new interest in risky properties. Each production stood out by not being a traditional play or musical, broken down into three categories. One category was immersive experiences that used inventive staging, audience participation, and sensory tricks to gain new fans, such as a revival of "Sweeney Todd" staged in an actual pie shop. Another category was that of "gimmick" productions accented by unique presentations. For example, the one-person play "White Rabbit/Red Rabbit" featured a different actor at each performance, reading it cold, for the first and only time. In the third category were parodies such as "Puffs" and the "Hamilton" spoof, "Spamilton." Among the challenges for Off-Broadway productions is marketing them, with lead "Spamilton" performer David Zippel noting, "No matter what you spend, you can't compete with Broadway." Creative strategies Off-Broadway productions often follow include hiring a good press agent to keep marketing inventive on a frugal promotional budget, sticking to small-scale productions until rising demand requires expansion, and supporting art that generates positive word of mouth.
Read the full story on the Forbes website.
Tags: Theater , News , Arts , Broadway