Top 10 Takeaways from the Broadway League Spring Road Conference
Last week was cray-cray.
In addition to all the awards season mishegoss (one of my favorite non-gentile words) and the 114 benefits (including my fave, Broadway Bets), last week was also the week of the annual Broadway League Spring Road Conference, when National Touring Presenters from all around the country and their staffs come to New York to see shows, discuss the state of Broadway and the Road, and do some serious networking (also known as go to lots of cocktail parties).
It’s also a chance for Broadway shows to woo these markets for upcoming national tour bookings, not to mention Tony votes (Road Presenters make up a chunk of the 800+ Tony Voters so getting a bunch of them on your side can mean a good thing for a show’s chances).
In addition to the great speakers both from within our industry and from outside our industry, one of the highlights is the “Creative Conversations” or panel discussions with members of the creative teams of some of the new shows on Broadway or the real movers and shakers in the biz. And this year, the Broadway League turned it out!
The Crucible‘s panel was moderated by Aaron Sorkin. Seth Meyers sat down with the Chairman of NBC, Robert Greenblatt. And George C. Wolfe . . . well, he didn’t need anyone else but himself to kill that crowd with his keynote.
I was there, along with most of the biz . . . and as these speakers spit out scintillating truth nuggets, I scooped ’em up and now I’m putting ’em in this blog for you . . .
Here are my Top 10 Takeaways from this year’s Broadway League Spring Road Conference!
1. “I start writing from a place of outrage. Hope and love are found along the way.” – Danai Gurira, Eclipsed
2. “Diversity means ‘I see my story in yours.'” – George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along
3. “I aspire to be the role model that I was looking for at 7 years old.” – Ali Stroker, Spring Awakening
4. “[Songwriting is] a radical exercise in empathy.” – Sara Bareilles, Waitress
5. “The key to getting more and more universal, is getting more and more specific.” – Bartlett Sher, Fiddler on the Roof
6. “I’ll take a hate-watcher over a non-watcher.” – Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC
7. “If anyone can tell you what the secret of musical theater is, they’re lying.” – Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock, and you know, that show with the guy in the mask.
8. “It’s our job as theater-makers and theater-producers to say we all belong.” – Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
9. “You have to bring other people behind you. You can’t just make your own path.” – Jeanine Tesori, Fun Home
10. “You don’t cut something because it’s not good. You cut something because it’s not serving the greater good.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Oh, and there’s one more. A bonus . . . because it’s my favorite.
11. “I know the rules. And now I know how to break them.” – Danai Gurira, Eclipsed
If you want to see and read more about what happens at the Spring Road Conference, search the hashtag #LeagueSRC or just click here. Because what happens at the Broadway League Spring Road Conference . . . lives forever on social media.
And maybe I’ll see you there in person next year! (Click here for information on joining the League and how you can attend.)
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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.