Future generations will see the theater we give them.
In my Broadway Investing Seminar, I always take a moment to answer the question “why do people invest in Broadway shows?”
There are a bunch of reasons, from going to the opening night party, to networking to, yes, despite the cliches, making money (it is possible, and in the seminar, I teach you how).
But there’s a much more important reason.
When you are producing a Broadway show, it’s often hard to think of next month, never mind next year, or the next decade. We’re too busy just trying to sell enough tickets to survive the short-term . . . and the long term is often forgotten.
I got a great lesson in the long term and why supporting the arts is essential from a new found friend of mine who happens to know a heck of a lot about the fine art world, and trades in it quite often.
She was teaching me about art valuations, and how that industry (and it is one, just like ours, with millions and millions and sometimes “priceless” millions at stake) functions. And while explaining auctions and art shipping and such, she told me about a bunch of art that she had recently purchased that not a lot of other people liked.
But she loved it.
And she was concerned that if she didn’t buy it, it would probably lose its value, and the potential lessons we could learn from it, might be lost, forever. Instead, now, the piece and the artist’s value would go up, and perhaps it would sit in a museum someday for school children, and art students, and your everyday Joe and Jane to be able to see it for decades to come.
When you work on Broadway, amidst the Mamma Mias and the Mary Poppinses, it’s easy to forget that Broadway, like it or not, is where theatrical history is being written, every single day. The shows on Broadway are more likely to be seen by more people, more likely to get more press, and more likely to be produced around the world.
We’re producing the shows today that future generations will see on stages near them tomorrow.
And that’s why we have to support them, to produce them, to invest in them, and to buy tickets to them.
What plays do you want your children . . . and your grandchildren . . . to study in school? What musicals do you want them to perform? What plays do you want performed in foreign nations? What authors do you want to be able to write more plays?
It’s up to all of us. With every check we write, with every ticket we buy, with every show we produce, we are writing the future history book of the American World’s Theater.
It’s an awesomely big responsibility. But I think we’re up for it.
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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.