THe 5th Annual
TheaterMakers Summit

Do you have your ticket to the 5th Annual TheaterMakers Summit happening online November 6th and 7th?

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Do you have your ticket to the 5th Annual TheaterMakers Summit happening online November 6th and 7th? Click here.

“I believe the world is a better place
if there is more theater in it.”

As Seen In

Biography

Ken Davenport is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer whose credits include Once On This Island (Tony Award), Gettin’ the Band Back Together, The Play that Goes Wrong, Groundhog Day (Tony nomination), Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), It’s Only a Play, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Godspell, Kinky Boots (Broadway – Tony Award, National Tour, Toronto, Australia, and West End), The Visit (Tony nomination), Mothers and Sons (Tony nomination), The Bridges of Madison County (National Tour), Allegiance, Chinglish, Oleanna starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, Speed-the-Plow, Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America (Tony nomination), Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury (Broadway, West End and National Tour), and 13.

Off-Broadway, Ken has produced Daddy Long Legs, Altar Boyz (Co-Conceiver), My First Time (Author), The Awesome 80’s Prom (Creator), That Bachelorette Show! (Creator), and Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage (Author). Ken’s productions have been produced internationally in over 25 countries around the world.

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In his mission to continually educate, entertain, and inspire the world through theatre, Davenport has made headlines by doing @#$% that other people don’t. In 2019, Inc. 5000 named Ken’s production company, Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, one of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

He is the founder of TheaterMakers Studio, a one-of-a-kind “masterclass” community that provides training and inspiration from Broadway’s best to writers, directors, producers and more. Ken also serves as the Executive Producer for North America for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group.

Outside of theatre, he has produced the award-winning These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road with Red Wanting Blue, a documentary on one of the top unsigned rock bands in the country, and an award-winning TV pilot entitled The Bunny Hole which has appeared in the LA Indie Film Festival, the Orlando Film Festival, the LA Comedy Festival and more. Ken was featured on a national commercial for Apple’s iPhone, named one of Crain’s “Forty Under 40” and is one of the co-founders of TEDxBroadway. He created the best-selling Broadway board game Be A Broadway Star. His blog, The Producer’s Perspective, has been featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Gothamist and more. He has written articles for Forbes, Mashable, and many others. Ken’s unique production and marketing style has garnered him international attention, including two front page articles in The New York Times and features on MSNBC, Rock Center, Fox News, BBC, and his favorite, a mention in Jay Leno’s monologue on The Tonight Show.

Upcoming projects include A Beautiful Noise, a new musical based on the life and songs of Neil Diamond. He is also developing Broadway Vacation, Joy the Musical, Harmony: A New Musical written by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, and a musical based on the life of Harry Belafonte.

Besides producing his own projects, Ken has been an Executive Producer and Consultant on many other Broadway and Off Broadway projects. If you are interested in inquiring about his services, please click here.

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Timeline

1972

Ken is born to Dr. Kenny Hasija and Pamela Soper (née Davenport) on August 23 in Phoenix, Arizona. A first generation American, Ken is half Indian.

1977

At age 5, Ken’s parents dragged him to his first audition for The Gateway Players production of A Steadfast Tin Soldier. He got a part. He had no lines. But reviewers said he did a very good job of standing still.
Ken would perform in multiple productions for Gateway over the next several years. And since then, they’ve produced shows he’s written!

1982

Ken grows up with an uncle who is a Bollywood actor and his great grandfather, Delbert Essex Davenport, is a lyricist, writer, and press agent working for the Shuberts who co-writes a musical with Sigmund Romberg and publishes his own novel!

1988

At the age of 15. Ken sees Les Misérables at The Wang Center in Boston, and is so moved by the production, he thinks, “I want to do this. I want to make something that makes me feel the way I feel right now.”

He starts listening to cast recordings incessantly.

1990

In a scene right out of High School Musical, Ken quits his high basketball team during a practice and announces he’s going to audition for the musical!

The next day he auditions for the part of Billy Crocker in Anything Goes and gets the lead. He performs the role opposite his high school sweetheart.

1991

Ken transfers from Johns Hopkins University (where he was pursuing a pre-law degree) to The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, where he studies drama at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute during the day, and “second-acts” Broadway shows during the evenings. Ken likes to say this is where he got his graduate degree.

1993

Davenport gets his first job on Broadway as a production assistant on the 1993 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady starring Richard Chamberlain and Melissa Errico.

It opens his eyes up to all the other people and positions that are needed to produce a Broadway show. Instantly, he knows acting will be a temporary stop on his journey.

1994

Ken graduates from Tisch as a University Scholar with a B.F.A. in Acting. He spends his entire senior year doing internships on Broadway shows.

1995

Ken produces a secret reading of a his revised version of  Is There Life After High School. He even creates his own model of the dream set! 

No one was invited to see it  . .  because, well, he never got the rights. It marks the first time, Ken “gets people in a room to do a show.”

1996

A friend of Ken offers him a job company managing a one-nighter tour of A Grand Night for Singing, even though he has never company managed a show before.  He says yes, and spends 9 weeks on a bus.  They drive through every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

1996

After several years of work as a Production Assistant, an Agent’s Assistant, a General Manager’s Assistant, and even a Cutco Salesperson, Ken lands the coveted position of the Associate Company Manager on the Hal Prince revival of Show Boat.  He invests 10 years company managing shows on Broadway and on the road, such as the original company of Ragtime, Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Gypsy, Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde and more.

1996

Ken writes and produces a reading of a show that celebrates television theme songs.  About the production, Ken says, “It wasn’t very good!”

2000

After working with Hal Prince on three occasions, Ken finally gets the nerve to ask him for his advice on how to become a creative producer. Hal invites him to his office.  And in 30 minutes, Hal changes his life. A follow up letter Hal sent to Ken from that meeting hangs in Ken’s office to this very day.

2004

Ken conceives and directs The Awesome 80’s Prom. It opens at Webster Hall on July 23rd.  It is the first of several projects Ken will create using a collaborative “Christopher Guest” method of script-writing.  The Prom runs for 10 years and has been performed all over the world, including places where they don’t even have Proms!

2004

Davenport establishes Davenport Theatrical Enterprises (DTE).  His office was his apartment.  His staff consists of him and his yellow lab.

2005

Ken co-conceives and produces Altar Boyz. Following a successful run at the inaugural NYMF,  it opens at New World Stages on February 15th. It wins the the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical, and the Broadway.com Audience Award for Favorite Long-Running Off-Broadway Show.

2006

Ken becomes the first producer to send audience members a follow-up email after they attend his Off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz. This method is now widely used across the industry.  It gets Ken his first NY Times feature on his unique marketing initiatives.

2007

Ken writes, directs, and produces My First Time. It opens at New World Stages on July 12th. Somehow, he convinces his then-girlfriend and part-time model, Tracy Weiler, to pose for the poster. She does. Miraculously, she later agrees to marry him.

2007

My First Time has a “virgins get in free” promotion, during which audience members who were determined to be “virgins” by a psychic received a free ticket to the show.  The promotion is featured on in every major media outlet around the world, including the home page of CNN, and a mention by Jay Leno on NBC’s The Tonight Show.

2008

Davenport makes his debut as a Broadway Producer with the new, written by his former vocal coach (!), Jason Robert Brown.  In the chorus  is an unknown named Ariana Grande.  (All the way to the right, in the green shirt!)

2008

Ken produces his first play on Broadway, Speed the Plow which opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on October 23rd.

2008

Ken starts The Producer’s Perspective, a blog on which he shares his thoughts, experiences and opinions that is dedicated to making Broadway accessible and understandable. It is featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The Gothamist and more.

2008

Davenport appears in one of the first Apple iPhone television commercials, directed by Academy Award winner Errol Morris.  And somehow, they let him talk about his show during the commercial! One of Ken’s accomplishments is knowing that he was one of only six people approved by Steve Jobs himself.

2008

Ken is named one of Crain‘s “40 Under 40”.

2008

Ken receives the Spirit of Theatre Award from Theatre Resources Unlimited.

2009

Ken produces You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush. Written by and starring Will Ferrell, it opens at the Cort Theatre on February 5th and receives a Tony nomination for Best Special Theatrical Event.

2009

Based on an idea he wrote about on his blog, Ken proposes to the Producers that the recently closed Broadway production of Avenue Q downsize to Off-Broadway.  It is the first production in history to make such a move and starts an immediate trend. The show runs for an additional 10 years.

2009

Ken produces Blithe Spirit, opening at the Shubert Theatre on March 15th. It receives a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Play.

2009

Ken produces Oleanna on Broadway. Starring Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman, it opens at the John Golden Theatre on October 11th.

2010

Ken receives the Leonidas A. Nickole Award of Distinction from The Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College.

2010

Ken writes, directs, and produces Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage. It opens at the Downstairs Cabaret Theater at Sofia’s on October 7th and stars one of Ken’s childhood heroes, Eve Plumb (Jan from “The Brady Bunch”).

2010

Godspell becomes the first Broadway production to use the crowd-funding model. Previously, Broadway investing was only open to accredited investors, who would ordinarily invest tens of thousands of dollars. In comparison, Godspell was largely funded by 700 investors (called “People of Godspell”) who were able to invest amounts as small as $1,000. Davenport is lauded for making Broadway investing accessible to “average people,” and for helping to bring a new crowd of investors into the Broadway community.

2010

Ken conceives of the board game Be a Broadway Star. Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb name it one of their “Favorite Things” on NBC‘s Today, and it is featured in the New York Times as well as Time Out. It remains one of Amazon‘s most popular Broadway-themed gifts.

2011

Godspell opens on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre on November 7th starring Hunter Parrish, Uzo Aduba, Lindsay Mendez and more. It receives the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Musical Revival.

2011

Ken produces Chinglish on Broadway. It opens at the Longacre Theatre on October 27th and receives a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Play.

2011

Ken produces These Magnificent Miles: On the Long Road with Red Wanting Blue, an award-winning documentary following one of the top unsigned bands in America.

2012

Ken co-conceives TEDxBroadway on the central question: “What’s the best Broadway can be?”  He delivers the first talk of the event about what Broadway will look like in 20 years? Several of his predictions have come true.

2012

Ken instates the first ever “Tweet Seats” for a Broadway show during his production of Godspell. During a specially designated performance, 15 of the show’s biggest fans received free tickets specifically so they could share their experience during the show on Twitter and promote it on social media.  It is featured on Rock Center with Brian Williams.

2012

Davenport holds auditions to find the “Godspell Cast of 2032,” a group of children ages 6 to 16 who will be given the chance to perform with the Broadway cast. 500 children audition, and 10  join the company of Godspell for a special one-night-only curtain call.

2013

During the Portland Center Stage run of his musical Somewhere in Time, Davenport uses dial-testing to partially gauge audience reaction. Although dial-testing is common in film and television, Davenport is the first producer to use it for the stage. While dial-testing is a controversial issue in the Broadway community, with some believing it will create formulaic theater, others see it as a useful tool, as detailed in the front page New York Times story covering the testing of Somewhere in Time.

2013

Davenport produces Macbeth on Broadway, starring Alan Cummings in all of the roles. It opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on April 21. Ken asks Cummings to step into another role to get up close and personal with the audience. He goes to the theater on a rainy, Sunday morning to sell rush tickets at the Box Office, allowing the audience to interact with him both on and off the stage. It receives the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Play Revival.

2013

Davenport produces Kinky Boots on Broadway starring Billy Porter, who Ken worked with on Grease 20 years prior.  It opens at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on April 4th and wins the Tony Award for Best Musical.

2014

Davenport produces the revival of It’s Only a Play on Broadway starring Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, Rupert Grint and more. It opens at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on October 9th and continues its run at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on January 23rd.

2014

Davenport produces The Bridges of Madison County on Broadway. It opens at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on February 20th and receives two Tony Awards.

2014

Ken produces Mothers and Sons on Broadway. It opens at the John Golden Theatre on March 24th and receives a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.

2014

Ken marries Tracy Weiler at Walhill Farm in Batesville, Indiana on August 30th. Their wedding is featured in The New York Times.

2015

Ken writes, directs, and produces The Bunny Hole. It is honored at the Orlando Film Festival, the IndieFEST Film Awards, and more.

2015

Ken writer, directs, and produces That Bachelorette Show. It opens at 42West on April 25th.

2015

Ken produces Daddy Long Legs. It opens at the Davenport Theatre on September 10th.

2015

Davenport livestreams a performance of his Off-Broadway musical, Daddy Long Legs on December 10th, marking the first time a Broadway or Off-Broadway production is live streamed.

2015

Ken produces Allegiance on Broadway. It opens at the Longacre Theatre on November 8th.

2015

Ken produces the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening on Broadway. It opens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on September 27th, and receives multiple Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations.  The production wins The Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity Award from Actors Equity Association.

2015

Ken records his first podcast with famous press agent, Rick Miramontez. It is the first episode of over 250 episodes and continues to this day.

2015

Ken produces The Visit on Broadway. It opens at the Lyceum Theatre on April 23rd and receives multiple Drama Desk and Tony Award nominations.

2016

Ken producers the first TheaterMakers Studio Summit. Approximately 150 attend.  The 2020 summit had over 1,000 attendees.

2016

In association with The Broadway League, the producers of Spring Awakening present a symposium titled “How to Make Broadway More Accessible,” on January 15th. The event features members of the disability community and a keynote address from Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics.

2016

Ken becomes the Executive Producer for North America for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group.

2016

Ken establishes The Producer’s  Perspective Pro, which becomes the TheaterMakers Studio, a one-of-a-kind “masterclass” community with the goal of educating and inspiring writers, directors, producers and more to get their shows off the ground.

2017

Ken produces the revival of Once on This Island, his second collaboration with Director Michael Arden, which opens at the Circle in the Square Theatre on December 3rd. It wins the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

2017

Ken produces the musical Groundhog Day. It opens at the August Wilson Theatre on April 17th. It receives 7 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.

2017

Ken produces The Play That Goes Wrong.  It opens on April 17th and runs for 772 performances.  It later transfers to Off-Broadway.

2017

Ken releases his first book, How To Succeed In The Arts Or In Anything, which becomes an instant bestseller.  He goes on to write other titles including Broadway Investing 101.

2018

Ken writes and produces Gettin’ the Band Back Together, set in Sayreville, NJ. Davenport asks the mayor and entire town to co-produce the musical with him. The co-production opens at the Belasco Theatre on August 13th.

2018

Ken and Tracy welcome McKenna Kay Davenport. She is born March 29th at 4:04pm.

2019

Inc. 5000 names Davenport Theatrical Enterprises one of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

2019

Ken continues a busy speaking schedule with a keynote at Cr8Con in Portland, OR.

2019

Ken produces Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Written by Terrance McNally and starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon, it opens at the Broadhurst Theatre on May 30th. It is Tony nominated for Best Revival of a Play.

2020

12 days after the Broadway Shutdown, Ken launches a livestream from his apartment with Broadway stars to keep the community and fans engaged.  He livestreams shows with everyone from Steven Schwartz to Jordan Fisher to Sierra Boggess.

2020

In memory of his father, Dr. Kenny Dipchand Hasija, who passed on April 12th, Ken establishes The Dr. Kenny Encouragement Fund, a scholarship for those who wish to pursue a career in the arts.

2020

Ken is hired as a theatrical development consultant for Primary Wave, one of the fastest growing and largest independent music publishing, marketing and management companies in the US.

2020

Ken releases his fifth book entitled, A Cast Of Mentors, Short Sage advice from 50 Broadway Superpowers, inspired from his conversations over the years with the best in the business, from Afred Uhry to Dominque Morriseau to Mandy Gonzalez, Pasek & Paul and more.

2021+

Ken continues to make theater for the rest of his life with a mission to entertain, inspire and educate.