The Business of Broadway – June 2020

“No Broadway! No Broadway! No Broadway! No Broadway! If I can’t take, my Broadway break…something within me dies.”

Looks like the intermission will be long enough for everyone to use the restroom. Here’s our July 2020 update.

 

Updates: July 2020

 

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Updates: July 2020

July, 2020

CHAPTER 1 (Thinking you know more than you do)

Broadway survived shutdowns for September 11, Hurricane Sandy, and multiple city blackouts, but the COVID-19 pandemic is long-term and seemingly impossible to overcome for audiences, theatre owners and producers due to public and industry fears of the extremely tight spaces where audiences, performers, and backstage workers must congregate to experience a Broadway show. The Broadway League (producers and theatre owners) has officially declared 2020 dead in regards to box office income. They announced at the end of June 2020 that all tickets purchased for shows through the end of the year would be refunded. Tens of thousands of industry professionals are without income, even from their backup jobs: hotels, restaurants, out-of-town productions. Broadway has officially lost approximately $1.5 billion dollars while losses from tourism is, at this point, uncountable and non-recoupable. The history of Broadway is being made, but the usual optimism is wavering. New shows are tentatively rescheduling for March or later in 2021. That means no Christmas season. That means no work on stage.

In the midst of uncertainty, is the humbling realization that the “Great White Way” is way too White. Shows like Hamilton with multi-racial casts make Broadway look liberal and inclusive. But the backstage story is dismal. Union backstage positions (all 18 of them!) are notoriously colorless. Management and theatre owners have made at best feeble attempts to bring BLPOC into their work place. Some blame the internship programs which basically mean that only people-of-means can afford to apprentice. Some blame the people in charge of nonprofit arts institutions and producers who aren’t familiar with the talent pool (directors, choreographers, designers) and work with the “tried and true” faces. And it’s generally understood that this is another aspect of the systematic racism in America that has only modestly been addressed in society. 

This is a year to watch. But first we must wait…then watch.

CHAPTER 12 (Surprises: the Pandemic)

Broadway is made up of commercial (for profit) and non-profit producers. Great Britain’s West End Theatres are undergoing the same re-thinking of cultural organizations as mentioned below:

Anne Bonnar and Hilary Keenlyside, Directors of Bonnar Keenlyside write in the British publication “Arts Professional”

Some of the most powerful artistic experiences are created from disruptive ideas and processes, and as a result of Covid-19, arts organisations have been forcefully disrupted. Some previously successful artists and organisations who have enjoyed patronage and popularity may not necessarily be able to deliver in the future. Particularly, in the performing arts, scale and infrastructure have become liabilities instead of assets. 

We know that the arts will thrive and artists will create, so how can we move to a viable future which frees the arts and artists anew? What resources and working practices can we unlock? What barriers to change do we need to break down? Can arts leaders implement change themselves or are the institutional barriers too great?

Breaking free and letting go

Faced with the ongoing financial crisis, groups of arts organisations, and especially infrastructure-heavy organisations, might pool their combined resources – and anticipated budget deficits – and restructure them to meet the needs of audiences, artists, their investors and stakeholders. Looking to the long-term, this is an opportunity to break free from embedded institutional resistance to change. Old arguments that organisations require individual boards, leaders and staff because they are harnessed round a specific mission and vision may perhaps be set aside to facilitate the creation of more resilient organisations fit for the future.

For performing arts venues where a high level of public funding is invested, this may be the time to let go of the myth that somehow, a member of the audience of venue A is exclusive to that organisation and not recognised as being a potential participant in all local performing arts. Letting go of protective control over relationships with single customers and integrating sales and marketing functions – including the box office – could yield several hundreds of thousands of pounds in many areas.

A new model

One size clearly does not fit all. One example: They could recognise that the home has become an auditorium and, as part of their national remit, pledge to make all of their work available digitally, redefining what it means to be a nationwide membership organisation. The experience of the Royal National Theatre (more than 10 million views during lockdown so far) and the model of the Digital Concert Hall in Berlin since 2008, demonstrate that this is attractive to audiences and can, in the case of Berlin, be successfully monetised reaching worldwide audiences.

These suggestions – consolidating the management of infrastructure; moving from multiple managements to fewer focused on delivery and outcomes; freeing education and outreach to a locally bespoke service working with all providers; and mandatory digital engagement of all work by national companies – are just the beginning of a much wider debate for which we have precious little time and space to engage. Everyone knows that letting go of old ways can be both painful and threatening. Given where we now find ourselves, we have few choices but to develop new economic and business structures within which the arts can survive and thrive for the future.

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The Business of Broadway: June 2020

Observing the scrambling of leaders adjusting to the changes over the past few months makes clear that we always have more to learn. That is why we continue to make updates to the chapters of The Business of Broadway, even during this “Intermission”. Here’s the update for June 2020. #StayHealthy, #Stay Safe

 

Updates: June 2020

 

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Updates: June 2020

June, 2020

CHAPTER 1 (Thinking you know more than you do)

“We have to continue thinking of the arts not only in a cultural context but in an economic context,” said Actors’​ Equity Association President Kate Shindle. “Arts and entertainment is responsible for more than 4 million jobs, $877 billion in value, and 4.5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.”

In the not-for-profit theatre sector alone, the average attendee “spends an additional $31 per person per show on ancillary services surrounding the theaters,” said Shindle. Nationally, that spending supports 2.3 million jobs, accounts for $46.6 billion in household income, and generates $15.7 billion in total government revenue.

CHAPTER 9 (How to Sell a Show) & CHAPTER 12 (Surprises: the Pandemic)

Only 41% of theatergoers say they are very likely to return when theaters reopen while 17% are very unlikely. … 58% suggest they will probably wait at least a few months or more before attending while only 21% think they will attend right away if there is something they want to see. … 

When asked the reason for not being quick to return to theaters, 64% said they are concerned there may be a second wave of the virus, 58% fear that a vaccine won’t yet be available when theaters reopen, and 57% say that their health may be at risk from attending. 73% say they would be more interested in returning if a vaccine did exist.

For the immediate future following the COVID-19 era, the theater will have to nurture new forms of invention in different kinds of space. The theatrical requirements of the next phase — tiny casts, restricted audiences, simple sets, and plenty of space — will be intensified by a scarcity of money. Flexibility is precious. Can Broadway adapt? The answer is unlikely and that may mean an extended period without Broadway, even when other theaters open.

 

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The Business of Broadway: April/May 2020

Our community has been hit hard by the effects of COVID-19. Many brave healthcare workers have been working around the clock to keep New Yorkers safe and to keep the rest of the nation and the world informed. We have a lot of information to share along with some helpful links.

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. We are in this together.

Updates: April/May 2020

 

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Updates: April/May 2020

April/May, 2020

BROADWAY IS IN AN INDUCED COMA DUE TO THE PANDEMIC. HERE ARE SOME PERSPECTIVES THAT MAY AFFECT HOW AND WHEN BROADWAY RETURNS.

CHAPTER 10 (Cancellation Insurance. Producing): Broadway

From an interview with Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League: 

The full impact – financial, job-wise, artistically, individually – won’t be known or maybe even felt completely for months. The League is compiling and studying data, with task forces assigned to all sectors of the industry, each assigned to stay abreast of a particular aspect of the theater industry.

League figures for last season indicate the enormous reach and impact of Broadway on New York City: With 14.8 million Broadway admissions during the 2018-2019 season (65% made up of tourists both domestic and international), the Broadway industry contributed $14.7 billion to the economy of New York City and supported 96,900 jobs.

The obstacles to a reopening are large and many: Broadway audiences sit in tightly packed venues built when audiences expected (and required) smaller, closer seats; Broadway casts perform together, literally – no distance shots, no remotes possible – and Broadway orchestras? They don’t call them “orchestra pits” for nothing.

And that’s just for starters. In this extended and candid conversation with Deadline, St. Martin elaborates on what exactly is being done on Broadway as theaters remain dark, what it will take, financially and otherwise, to get the shows going again, what producers know now and what they still need to learn, and why the League is not asking theatergoers – yet – about when they’d feel comfortable returning to the magnificent venues, leg room or not, that help make Broadway a theatrical beacon worldwide.

The best guesses are that unless there’s serious testing and information that we don’t have now, we’re probably looking at September or later. It really depends on the elected officials, and we know very well that Governor Cuomo will be the one to tell us when we can come back.

We have said that when we’re told that we can come back, it will probably be six weeks before we can actually get back. Sixteen shows were somewhere in rehearsals or somewhere in previews at the time of the shutdown, and there will be a lot of work for those shows. We don’t know how many of those will actually make it – that will depend on how long we’re out. Plus, depending on how long we’re out, will there be cast changes, and how much rehearsal and get-up-to-speed time will it take? So say we were told on June 1 that we can come back, we wouldn’t be back up until six weeks later, July 10 or something.

So that’s where we are. We’re trying to do everything we can to keep the casts together and shows together, and working to help our producers and members stay afloat through governmental efforts, where we can help, so that we have something to come back to.

I wouldn’t be surprised if before you enter a theater someone took your temperature. I wouldn’t be surprised that if we do have significant testing, that people will be given badges or some kind of certificate reflecting [antibody status] or that they’re coronavirus-free. We’re hearing of cleaning products that may actually clean a theater and make it safe for 70 days, but do we know that yet? We’re hearing about it, and theater owners and others are looking into it, but there are some who believe that it will take medicine or an [effective] treatment…or a vaccine, which is the scariest because you hear anywhere from a year to two on vaccines, depending on who’s talking and when.

Masks? Maybe. There are just all kinds of questions, and the details are significant in that you’ve got a lot of casts that have disbursed and gone home. You’ve got a lot of touring companies that don’t even have homes to go to because they’ve been on tour for a while and they’ve rented out their apartments. I saw the quote from [Actors’ Equity executive director] Mary McColl about will the actors want to come back until they’re sure they’re safe. What happens to their productions? Will they still kiss on stage? Think of the many shows where there is very, very close contact. What will we need to do for them? There are just so many unknowns, and until we know more – I mean, even the health community doesn’t know much, and as Cuomo clearly pointed out, we are not health professionals. We’re just listening and learning as we go along. We will do what we’re told we have to do.

Another reason why it will take those four to six weeks is the money to come back up. Even for the long running shows, they’re talking about $1 million to get back up. So can they afford to reopen and then be shut down three weeks later? Then they would be doomed.

One of the key things is that Broadway and the road cannot come back with social distancing. There’s no way the economic model works for a theater that has a 50% house due to social distancing. It won’t work. Broadway has the best theatrical employees in the world, but they’re also the most expensive. So we have to find ways to ensure that when we open, we have the ability to have audiences similar to what we’ve had in the past.

I do know that all shows have business interruption insurance, but what are the criteria, and how much? I know one of our producers had very low business interruption insurance, and I know others have pretty substantial business interruption insurance. I’m hearing that it’s possible that some of the companies that do cover these [policies] could go out of business because they could lose so much money in so many other areas. I’m hearing that the insurance industry is trying to get a bailout much like the airlines. I don’t know enough to know if they will get that. We actually are having a session for our members with a top insurance executive next week to help our members with talking about the insurance, because many people don’t understand it.

Most everybody has the force majeure clause, but then with the force majeure there will be exceptions – a lot of people who live in Florida can’t get hurricane insurance, right, or flood insurance? I’ve not heard yet of our producers being turned down, but it’s so new they just may not have answers.

Streaming? Aside from the creative discussion relating to it, the financial model doesn’t work. Even for my little organization that represents our industry, I can’t live stream anything without paying all the same fees that a [Broadway] show does. So when I have a concert in Times Square with 50,000 people coming to watch performers from 21 shows, I can’t live stream it. I can’t put it on my website because the financial implications are just too harsh…And I also have producers saying Broadway has to be felt with people in the room, it’s about the escape of being there. Broadway just doesn’t look the same on TV. It is not as magical. It is not as transformative.

CHAPTER 10 (Cancellation Insurance. Producing): Concert industry perspective

RE: Coachella cancellation and lessons from the concert world for Broadway…

(paraphrased in later March from an online report with no reporter credited)

You see it’s all about the money. A promoter (similar to theatre producers and/or theatre owner) has to pay the acts unless there’s force majeure, essentially an act of God, something completely out of the control of the promoter. As for insurance? Ever since SARS the promoters have none.

So, it would probably be wise to announce a cancellation immediately. That would save Goldenvoice some money and allow patrons to cancel/adjust their plans.

But who is going to take the hit? Of course everybody loses money if the event is canceled. But right now, the promoter and the acts are playing a game of chicken. The promoter is waiting for an edict from the government that the gig can’t happen, and the acts are not gonna cancel until that occurs.

So, we’re waiting. But we know what direction this is going in. Just look at Italy!

As for China, recent word is it’s much worse than portrayed and it’s not actually fading. The upside? The live business is burgeoning, because it’s an experience in a world of fungible goods. The downside? It requires an assembly of masses of people.

Punters believe we live in a world of strict liability, one in which every loss is covered. It’s kind of ridiculous if you think about it. Furthermore, corporations want to pay less, railing about the fees of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. But the truth is those fees, and the ultimate payments, are usually quite small, relatively, and they’re the only check against these companies, if they don’t make you go to arbitration to begin with, where the company almost always wins. If you’re waiting for the government to save you… Just look at Boeing, and many other industries, the corporations basically check themselves, or there are too few inspectors to do the work anyway, like in the meat business. So we need class actions and “shyster” attorneys to level the playing field. As for the McDonald’s hot coffee case…on the surface, it sounds ridiculous, but in trying to make sure the coffee was still hot when you drank it at the office, McDonald’s made it so hot that it burned a customer’s skin. You want to be protected against that, right? As for bogus claims, they rarely get paid. Although nuisance claims get paid all the time, it’s oftentimes cheaper to pay than to go through the process of litigation. It’s an imperfect system, but it’s the one we’ve got.

And, insurance companies are in the business of not paying. It’s kind of like Vegas, if the gamblers were winning, the whole city would not exist. Insurers have to make a profit. And insurers can go broke. An agent writes the policy and oftentimes it’s laid off on a bunch of reinsurance companies, to spread the risk, but when a catastrophe hits, there may not be enough money to make all the insureds whole, the insurance companies just declare bankruptcy.

So, if you paid for plane tickets and Coachella is canceled, you’re eating them. Although, many airlines are saying if you book now and then cancel it’s okay… But what about if you already booked?

Your hotel may or may not give you your money back.

All those businesses in Palm Springs… That money is lost. And this is bigger than Coachella. This affects the entire nation. The aforementioned airlines are screwed, they’re cutting back flights, but still costs are relatively static, whether people fly or not. As for the flight attendants and pilots, they’ll be laid off.

As for the government? So far, it’s only saying it’s going to help the corporations. As in socialism for the rich and democracy for the poor. The government has got enough money, it’s just more concerned with the auto industry and other big donors than the individual. And sure, the big corporations do employ many people, but individuals are at the end of the line, always.

After Coachella…there goes Jazz Fest and Bonnaroo and the rest of the festivals. You’ve got to keep your customers safe, if they’re dead they cannot buy tickets.

And this is a Tylenol situation. It’ll be interesting to see whether promoters bend over backwards like Johnson & Johnson or deny like Perrier. In a crisis, too many companies do the wrong thing, especially since the executives did not start the outfit and have little ownership interest.

The promoters need to tell the ticketholders they will be made whole. Maybe, similar to the airlines, you can cancel any ticket two weeks out. This will give the promoter time to resell the ducat, frequently for a higher price. The promoters have to say they won’t lay people off.

The promoters must give the illusion that it’s safety first. Which is why they should cancel these shows now instead of later, but it’s all about the contracts, the public comes last.

As for the public… You’re never gonna go to a show with tens of thousands of people from all over the world…no one will show up, they’re too scared, especially in a world where European nations are already limiting the size of public gatherings.

And instead of denying the problem, promoters have to get ahead of it, they can’t be like Trump telling everybody they’re safe and more people die from the flu. You’ve got to be overly cautious so people trust you.

As for the coronavirus being gone by the hot weather…there were three waves of the Spanish flu, so…

We don’t know what’s gonna happen folks, at least with the coronavirus.

We do know what’s gonna happen in the concert industry…shows will be canceled. But what you don’t know is many performers and managers live hand to mouth, I’ve heard from a number if their tours don’t go out they’ll be broke. There’s this image that everybody in the music business is rich, but that is not so.

It’s a good time to own Netflix stock.

CHAPTER 12: Good and Bad Surprises

RE: Broadway’s small businesses. In legislation, $377 billion dollars has been earmarked for small business loans. Those loans, meant to cover payroll and other expenses for businesses of 500 employees or fewer, may be temporary salvation to the many small businesses of Broadway who have been hurting due to the theater closures. Under the small business loan program, businesses can receive loans of up to two-and-a-half times their monthly payroll over a specified period of time (with each employee’s payroll capped at $100,000 as part of the calculation).

Actors’ Equity is asking the government to provide a 100% subsidy for coverage under COBRA, a federal program that allows employees to continue to receive their employer-given health insurance. The union is asking for the subsidy for all arts workers, the 14,480 new unemployment insurance claims filed by workers in the arts community in the week ending March 28.”

In support of and deep gratitude for the health care heroes, first responders, and essential workers who are on the front lines of the current COVID-19 crisis every day, Broadway theatres took part in the Light It Blue initiative in New York City. Those theatres with remote access to their marquees and digital billboards dimmed lights and activated digital marquees with messages of encouragement last night on April 9, 2020 from 8 PM to 8:15 PM.

CHAPTER 13 (Box Office)

Ticketmaster is being investigated for its refund practices. “I think there’s a lot of misperception about Ticketmaster,” Joe Berchtold, president of Live Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster, said … “Ticketmaster doesn’t sell these tickets and sit on a mountain of cash. Ticketmaster sells tickets and gives the cash over to the venues where the events are held.” … Berchtold explained that in order for Ticketmaster to issue refunds it needs to work with the event venues, but those are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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APPENDIX (RESOURCES)

SAG-AFTRA Disaster Relief Fund
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation and the SAG-AFTRA Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund (MPPWF) have a COVID-19 Disaster Fund to provide urgent financial support to SAG-AFTRA members and families affected by this global pandemic.

And here’s a list that certainly has duplicates from the other list I sent ya, but sending anyway, just in case…

Actors Fund Emergency Assistance
The Entertainment Assistance Program functions as an entryway and guide through The Fund’s many programs when you’re facing personal or work-related problems.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
The Arts Administrators of Color Network is currently raising funds for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists and arts administrators who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 nationally. You can read more here and donate here.

 

The Bret Adams & Paul Reisch Foundation Emergency Grant
Playwrights, composers, librettists and lyricistss who have had a full professional show cancelled, closed, or indefinitely postponed due to COVID-19 are eligible for a $2,500 emergency grant.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund
This fund will help entertainment professionals meet coronavirus-related expenses and other challenges brought about by the evolving pandemic.

 

CERF+ Emergency Assistance
Artists who have suffered from a recent, career threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster, can apply for funding.

 

Chronicle of Philanthropy: Stimulus Bill Provides Nonprofit Loans, Grants, and One-Year ‘Universal Deduction’
This article details how the new stimulus bill will affect nonprofit organizations.

 

DGF Emergency Grants for Writers
DGF is processing Emergency Grants based on severity of need, especially as it relates to COVID-19. DGF is sensitive to the inherent economic challenges that will arise in relation to CDC recommendations for social distancing.

 

Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers & tip-based workers
Glad Day has set up an emergency fund to help LGBTQ2S artists, performers & tip-based workers. This fund is not meant to help people recover lost income.

 

Foundations for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants
Created in 1993 to further FCA’s mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants provide urgent funding for visual and performing artists

 

Fractured Atlas: Emergency Resources for Artists
This resource list includes information on both regional and national relief efforts.

 

Gottlieb Emergency Grants
The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.

 

How to Apply for the Coronavirus Business Loan
Fundera offers this guide on how to apply for the Small Business Association’s loan program.

Indie Theater Fund COVID-19 Emergency Grant
The Indie Theater Fund is offering unrestricted rapid relief grants of up to $500 to indie theater companies and individual artists in need due to the financial strain of closings, etc. related to COVID-19.

 

The Indie Theater Fund Rapid Relief Emergency Fund
The Indie Theater Fund is launching this fundraising campaign to provide direct support and emergency relief to independent theaters and artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

League of Professional Theatre Women Emergency Loan Fund
The League of Professional Theatre Women is offering full members of the League, in good standing, access to an emergency loan fund.

 

Musicians Foundation
The Musicians Foundation provides grants to U.S. musicians in any genre in a time of acute need due to personal, medical, dental, or family crisis, natural disaster, or other emergency situation.

 

NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund
The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created to aid nonprofit service providers struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus. It will give grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are trying to meet the new and urgent needs that are hitting the city. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture.

 

NYC Employee Retention Grant Program
To help small businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19, the City has launched the Employee Retention Grant Program to help retain employees as businesses face decreased revenue.

 

NYFA Emergency Grants List
NYFA has compiled a list of emergency grants for artists in all disciplines.

 

NYC Small Business Continuity Fund
Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit.

NYS Unemployment Application
NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.

 

One Fair Wage — Emergency Coronavirus Tipped and Service Worker Support Fund

One Fair Wage is providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive.

 

PAAL Emergency Fund for Artists with Families
All donations made to PAAL in March and April will go to artists with families in need of financial support.

 

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants
Expected to roll out in late May or early June, these will provide visual artists, media artists, and choreographers up to $5,000 worth of assistance for medical emergencies. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

 

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance
Federal disaster loans for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters.

 

Wingspace Theater Designer Microgrants
Wingspace is currently collecting donations for a microgrant for NYC-based theater designers. The application for the microgrant will open on Wednesday, April 8, at 10:00am.

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Updates: March 2020

CHAPTER 12 (Good & Bad Surprises)

Broadway Musicals: Since 1997, seven of the ten highest-grossing Broadway musicals, and five of the ten best-attended musicals are still running. Disney’s The Lion King is the highest-grossing musical of all time.

CHAPTER 15 (Actors) – Immigration from and to Great Britain

For the past 30 or so years, there has been a reciprocal arrangement to share actors from Great Britain and other nations in Europe and the U.S. Under the current British administration, a major change has been planned. From January 1, 2021, all EU and non-EU citizens will be subject to the new system, which takes multiple factors into account when awarding visas, including salary and education.

The minimum salary threshold will be £25,600 (around US$33,000). However some workers with a job offer with a lower salary may still be awarded a visa if they meet other requirements.

Equity president Maureen Beattie said that the end of freedom of movement will have a “devastating” impact on the working lives of people in the creative industries.

“Although it is theoretically ‘points-based’, the reality is that it will be impossible to accrue enough points with a salary below £25,600 (without a PhD) unless the role is on the shortage occupation list; a list which excludes many highly-valued creative professions.

“In our sector, high skill levels do not always equate to high salaries. There must be recognition of sector-specific means of assessment including auditions, work experience and portfolios.”

Also, the restrictions on incoming EU workers will have an impact on the ability of touring companies to visit the UK.

Freelance and research officer Tony Lennon said: “There is no provision whatsoever for self-employed workers to come in and if EU member states reciprocate by applying restrictions to UK workers, it’s going to be more costly and difficult to organize European tours for performances. Restricted movement of UK workers [would] add to the problems we already know about when moving scenery, props and equipment across the Channel after December this year.”

 

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Updates: February 2020

CHAPTER 18 (Management)
The U.S.A. is not the only place struggling with diversity issues. In England, 92% of bosses at the country’s 50 highest-funded theatres are white with people of color making up just 8% of leaders. The findings do not include commercial theatre. Broadway shows are primarily commercial but nonprofit theaters (Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage, Roundabout, Lincoln Center) contribute significantly to the Broadway landscape. In the U.K. the West End’s nonprofit theatres include the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Exchange, Young Vic and Sheffield Theatres.

CHAPTER 9 (Selling a Show) & CHAPTER 10 (Producers)

The percentage of Broadway musicals that have recouped their initial investment in the last half decade is 20.45%. This is the same dang number it has always been. So as we continue to create economic models for our shows and our business, we pretty much know what we’re working with.

CHAPTER 15 (Actors)

We could be looking at as few as 113 ensemble roles for the 2019-2020 season, as compared to 185 in 2018-2019 and 183 in 2017-2018, according to The Ensemblist. … The research also acknowledges that as shows become more expensive to produce, creators must “be more succinct in what they’re looking for”—which often means shrinking cast and orchestra sizes.

APPENDIX: RESOURCES

www.Careers.Broadway – a one-stop first-step resource for anyone who wants to know what to do, where to look, and how to build a career on Broadway or for those considering career changes or for teachers and mentors to young people around the country. This platform provides access and information for everyone and suggests points of entry no matter where you live. Broadway supports more than 87,000 jobs in New York City alone, contributing $12.63 billion to the local economy in the 2018-2019 season.

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Updates: January 2020

CHAPTER 10 (Producing and Investing); CHAPTER 11 (Unique Financials); CHAPTER 22 (Theatre Owners)

MOVING THEATRES. STOP CLAUSES. 

The Shubert Organization that owns the Winter Garden Theatre that currently houses “Beetlejuice” invoked a stop clause, in which theater owners can force a show to vacate a theater if it falls below a certain grosses threshold for two consecutive weeks

“Beetlejuice” originally opened to weak ticket sales and fell below its stop clause last June and then received formal notice on Oct. 1 that the show would need to move out in June 2020. At issue was an incoming production, “The Music Man,” which has been reportedly booked into the theater for its run next year. 

One possibility was to have “The Music Man” take over the Shubert Theatre where “To Kill a Mockingbird,” resides, and move it to another theater of suitable size. But that option has not panned out. “Beetlejuice” producers have also looked at moving their own show to another theater, but Luftig said that a move for the large and highly technical set would cost close to $4 million, which would weigh on the production’s investors. 

The problem with moving ‘Beetlejuice’ is that it was built and retrofit for the Winter Garden Theatre.

And both options are hurt by the lack of overall theater availability on Broadway.  

Overall, grosses for “Beetlejuice” have recently been on an uptick, regularly surpassing $1 million, with its gross potential hovering between 80% to 90%. In the first week of December, the musical broke a box office record at the Winter Garden. 

That’s a marked change from grosses early in its run, which began on March 28, when the musical was seeing between 50% to 60% of its gross potential. 

The musical was capitalized for up to $21 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

CHAPTER 10 (Producing and Investing)

According to figures provided by the Broadway League, the industry grossed a total of $1.757 billion in 2019. That’s $67 million under 2018’s record, a difference of about 3.7%. However, it was also the best-attended year in Broadway history, with 90.51% of its seats filled.

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UPDATES: 2019

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The Business of Broadway is essential reading for anyone interested in producing, investing, or working in theatre. Engaging and illuminating, Mitch Weiss and Perri Gaffney explain the myriad of people and roles they play to collaborate on a show from development to opening night and beyond.


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