Podcast Episode #45: The President of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, Ted Chapin.

Ted Chapin’s official title is the President of R&H.

Frankly, I think we should just call him the President of Theater.  That’s how smart and insightful this guy is about our art and about our biz.  It’s no wonder he was handpicked by the industry’s most powerful creative family to oversee its priceless treasures of material.  Seriously, the equivalent of being the President of R&H is like someone saying, “Hey, you . . . stand outside Fort Knox.  You decide who goes in and what goes out.”

I was thrilled when Ted accepted my invite to appear on my podcast, because I knew he’d drop some wisdom bombs for all of us to learn from, and boy did he.  Tune in and listen to Ted talk about all things theater, R&H and more, including . . .

  • His secret trick to pronouncing Hammerstein the correct way (and hear me get it right, then wrong, then right again . . . oh boy).
  • What happens when the copyrights on the R&H classics expire?
  • Would Oklahoma! be a hit if it were produced today?
  • What the @#&$ is the Tony Administration Committee and what does it do anyway?
  • How he decides what can be done and can’t be done in new R&H productions (and hear how he almost had to shut one down – and why it was a tougher decision than you’d think).

Ted has lectured on the theater at the world’s greatest universities, and I’m so thankful he gave us a little sample of his vast knowledge.

Oh, and by the way, Ted started in the biz as a Production Assistant (just like I did) . . . on the original Broadway company of Follies.  He chronicled that experience in the book Everything Was Possible, which I strongly recommend.  Get it here.

Enjoy the podcast!

Click here to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.



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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.