• Exit Stage Left, Enter Stage Right: Theater Trends Over the Past 25 Years
  • July 16, 2013 | Author: Diane Krausz
  • Law Firm: Diane Krausz Associates Attorneys at Law - New York Office
  • We have been asked to review legal business trends in the commercial theater industry over the past 25 years, and to make some predictions of where the industry is heading in the 25 years to come. In undertaking this exercise, we find a few specific areas particularly worthy of discussion. Theatrical productions are much more expensive to mount and maintain than they were in 1988, and the industry has had to adjust over the years to survive. Liberalization of fundraising practices has helped, as have ongoing negotiations with the various unions representing the many trades employed by Broadway producers and theaters, and also adjustments in the way royalty participants- such as the dramatists and directors- are paid. Producers recently have started embracing new technologies and marketing strategies to reach a wider target audience more efficiently, and they are experimenting with new pricing paradigms. Producers also are mitigating risk by engaging celebrities in both creative and non-creative roles, and they are adapting to the live stage readily recognizable properties, such as films and music catalogues, in greater numbers. We see these trends of tapping new sources of income, controlling costs and mitigating risks as continuing, hopefully with the result of continuing to both grow and maintain the accessibility and relevance of live theater for the next 25 years and beyond.