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Changing Nature of Off-Broadway Theatres  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Aug 9th, 2007 02:11 pm
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in media res
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Mana: 
From the NY Times this morning.

Any thoughts?


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/theater/09venu.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1186668494-p+5xAzaqw3pDSXZDPhrCIQ


in media res

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 Posted: Thu Aug 9th, 2007 05:15 pm
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katoagogo
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It comes as news to me that there were any for-profit off-Broadway theaters left. Kind of like when you see an ancient matinee idol limp to a microphone and you say, "You mean he's not dead?"

Reading this article was kinda like that for me.

Theater as a business has been changing for decades. I hold no nostalgia for the old off-Broadway. They have not been housing important work for a long long time. They've been limping along.

Leave the pleasant, entertaining fare to Broadway and community theater. The real-estate is more valuable than the projects these theaters are pursuing.

Beyond that, important, relevant theater has been moving out of New York for a long time.

I guess I'm just shrugging as I read the article -- while muttering, "Huh, I thought he was already dead"

--Kato

Last edited on Thu Aug 9th, 2007 05:16 pm by katoagogo

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 Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 01:37 pm
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Sam Stone
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Kato,

I'm on your side except... there are many companies and theatregoers who feel that, "If it hasn't been produced in NYC, it's not worthy of production (or paying to see) elsewhere."

So... how do we help American producers and audiences understand there's lots of good stuff being premiered everywhere?

Sam

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 Posted: Sat Aug 11th, 2007 02:21 pm
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katoagogo
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Sam:

I don't hear that happeing so much anymore, at least not with plays. I think it's still true for musicals.

It's more looked at like, "Have you had anything produced in New York?" Rather than a particular play's production history (because so many want to host the "premier" anyway). It's really about your production history as a playwright, is your work being produced in New York as well as the other cities?

Just like there are some crappy NYC credits -- like anything from The Riant labels you as someone just starting out, that sort of thing.

Usually if I get asked if I've had anything done in New York, it's being asked by someone whodoesn't go to theater very much and has no idea how much the business has changed. The people in the business do understand that, even the one's in New York, and an impressive regional production is something they've paid attention to.

That's what I've found.

Of course, if what you've got is a musical, then yeah, you better get a production of it in the City.

--Kato

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 Posted: Sun Aug 12th, 2007 11:49 am
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Sam Stone
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Couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.  Thanks for putting me straight.  I like this forum - so much to learn, too little time.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 12th, 2007 06:31 pm
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katoagogo
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Well -- I could be delusional...

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 Posted: Wed Aug 15th, 2007 05:42 am
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scenedreamer
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katoagogo wrote: Sam:

I don't hear that happeing so much anymore, at least not with plays. I think it's still true for musicals.
--Kato


I am not convinced that playing in NYC is necessary for either plays or musicals and I am out to prove it. 

I perceive a degree of dislike among playwrights, not only for Broadway, but for musicals.  Musicals generally attract larger audiences, but surely there's enough ticket buyers to support all styles of theater.  I write plays as well as musicals and view myself first of all as a communicator.  The difference as I see it, is that if the dialogue of a play communicates its theme with the heart, it must first convince the mind while music communicates directly with the heart and once the heart is opened by music, it is more receptive to the theme. 

I intend to prove that audiences will attend good entertainment regardless of whether is has appeared on Broadway or not.  Tired of seeing the same old recycled Broadway musicals year after year in every theater in town, I decided to compete for their audience with fresh musicals about local subjects.  I got commissions to write shows that still today steal at least a part of the recycled Broadway audience.

I don't kid myself that my work could compete on Broadway and I'm not aiming for an international audience.  But ultimately, all audiences are local and shows in the local language about local subjects are definitely competing with recycled Broadway here in the fly over zone.  Ten of my shows are being produced this year and a couple will be touring.  They're playing to SRO audiences and Standing Ovations.  

 I certainly don't dislike musicals and I love Broadway, but I am convinced Broadway is just a street and musicals are simply great entertainment.  I believe that entertainment can happen anywhere.  I'm having a blast proving that not all theater, musical or otherwise, happens in NYC.

SD

 

Last edited on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 02:47 pm by scenedreamer

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