Every book I read during the pandemic.

One thing I did A LOT of during the pandemic? Read! (Or “Listen” – since I’m a big audible guy).

I didn’t just limit myself to the fun theatermaking books either. Because I believe we should be looking outside of our bubble to learn how to make this industry stronger and better. 

And when a TheaterMaker in my NextStage mastermind asked me what books I’ve read recently, I decided to put the list together and share it with you too!

There are books on writing, producing, marketing, and just plain ol’ kick-you-in-the-butt inspiration.

So here’s my 2022 TheaterMaking Reading List:

On Producing

  1. The Commercial Theater Institute’s Guide to Producing Plays and Musicals
  2. The Business of Broadway: An Insider’s Guide to Working, Producing, and Investing in the World’s Greatest Theatre Community
  3. From Option to Opening: A Guide to Producing Plays Off-Broadway 
  4. The Palgrave Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers
  5. I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway … or Get Killed
  6. Theatre Management: Producing and Managing in the Performing Arts
  7. So You Want to Be a Theatre Producer
  8. The Stage Producer’s Business and Legal Guide
  9. Self-Disciplined Producer: Develop a Powerful Work Ethic, Improve Your Focus, and Produce Better Results
  10. Producers on Producing
  11. Stage Money
  12. A Technique for Producing Ideas: A Simple Five-Step Formula for Producing Ideas


On Writing

  1. The Nutshell Technique
  2. Beating Broadway: How to Create Stories for Musicals That Get Standing Ovations
  3. The Art of Dramatic Writing
  4. The Secret Life of the American Musical
  5. Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer
  6. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within
  7. How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One
  8. On Writing
  9. Writing in Restaurants
  10. Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write With Clarity, Emphasis, and Style
  11. Sensory Writing for Stage and Screen
  12. Writing Dialogue for Scripts (Writing Handbooks)
  13. The Writer’s Journey
  14. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
  15. What Playwrights Talk about When They Talk About Writing
  16. Writing in Collaborative Theatre-Making
  17. Writing the Award-Winning Play
  18. How to Write Everything
  19. You Can Write a Play!


On Marketing

  1. Purple Cow: Transform your Business by Being Remarkable
  2. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  3. Building a Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
  4. Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through The Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention
  5. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  6. Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way To Influence and Persuade
  7. Contagious: Why Things Catch On
  8. Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy
  9. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die
  10. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them At Your Own Risk!
  11. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends Into Customers


On Motivation

  1. How To Be a No Limit Person
  2. You are a Badass
  3. The 5 Second Rule
  4. Failing Up: How To Take Risk, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning
  5. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  6. Mindset
  7. War of Art
  8. White Fragility
  9. Daring Greatly


For Fun

  1. Broadway General Manager: Demystifying the Most Important and Least Understood Role in Show Business
  2. Untold Stories of Broadway (Volume I)
  3. Finishing the Hat
  4. Sense of Occasion
  5. Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.