The Broadway League

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The Broadway League, Inc.
Broadway League Logo.jpg
Logo of the Broadway League.
Founded 1930 (1930)
Type Trade Association 501(c)(6)[1]
13-0951470
Location
Area served
Theatre
Members
700+
Key people
Charlotte St. Martin
Executive Director
Revenue
$9,360,554 (FY2013)
Expenses $7,587,315 (FY2013)
Employees
59
Volunteers
90
Mission To increase awareness of, and interest in, Broadway Theatre to provide services on behalf of members including marketing programs and special events, labor, government and media relations, industry and community interaction and maintenance of relevant research archives and databases.
Website www.broadwayleague.com
Formerly called

The League of American Theatres and Producers (1985-2007)

The League of New York Theatres and Producers (1973-1985)

The League of New York Theatres (1930-1973)

The Broadway League, formerly the League of American Theatres and Producers and League of New York Theatres and Producers, is the national trade association for the Broadway theatre industry. Its members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in New York and more than 250 other North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry.

Membership[edit]

The Broadway League has more than 700 members[2] representing the Broadway theatre industry in New York and more than 200 other North American cities across the United States.[3]

In addition to theatre owners, producers, presenters, and general managers who create productions and operate theatres across the country, industry specialists and vendors such as press agents, booking agents, advertising agencies, and scenery, costume, and prop shops are eligible for membership.[4]

History[edit]

The League was founded in 1930 as the "League of New York Theatres and Producers". It was founded by Broadway theatre operators to further common interests,[5] with the main purpose of fighting ticket speculation. The original purpose of the League described in its charter was to “protect the general public patrons of the theater, owners of theatrical entertainments, operators of theaters and reputable theater ticket brokers against the evils of speculation of theater tickets.”[6] The League's first successful act was the writing of the Theater Ticket Code of Fair Practice (together with Actors' Equity) which became a state law in 1940.[6] These efforts are still relevant today, as ticket resellers in New York State are required to obtain a license from the Department of State and are prohibited from reselling tickets within 500 feet of theatres or box offices.[3][7]

In the following years the League expanded its charter several times. In 1938, the League became the official collective bargaining unit representing the theatre owners and producers on Broadway to negotiate labor agreements with unions such as Actors' Equity.[6]

With the decline of Broadway in the 1980s the League changed its name to the "League of American Theatres and Producers" and began to expand its domain to theatres across the United States.[6] On December 18, 2007 the League changed its name to the current name, "The Broadway League". In a press statement announcing the name change, the League explained that its membership is "not limited to theatre owners and producers, but includes Broadway presenters, general managers and other Broadway industry professionals," and the new name "more aptly reflects the composition of the League's membership." [8]

Labor Negotiations[edit]

The Broadway League is a collective bargaining unit representing Broadway producers and theatre owners, and negotiates labor agreements with 14 unions in New York City to set the minimum terms (fees, salaries, work rules, etc.) for hiring union members. Broadway productions are fully unionized, and all employees are members of unions such as Actors' Equity Association (AEA), Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC), American Federation of Musicians (AFM), Local 802, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 1.[9]

Negotiations with Authors[edit]

The Broadway League also works with the Dramatists Guild of America, an organization composed of playwrights, composers, and lyricists, to engage authors for Broadway productions. Even though the Guild is not a union, the Guild provides the Approved Production Contract, a contract template for authors to use in negotiations with producers.[9]

Government Relations[edit]

The Broadway League advocates for the needs of commercial theatre industry with local, state and national elected officials.

Wireless Microphone Spectrum[edit]

The Broadway League, in conjunction with the National Football League and large churches, is protesting against FCC’s plans to auction the frequencies used by wireless microphones used in theatres and venues throughout the U.S.[10][11]

The Support Theaters in America Growth and Expansion Act[edit]

As a result of lobbying initiatives by the Broadway League, in February 2015, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) reintroduced legislation named The Support Theaters in America Growth and Expansion Act that would provide Broadway and live theatrical productions federal tax benefits already given to film and TV productions.[12]

Under Section 181 of the tax code, U.S.-based film and TV productions are able to immediately expense up to $15 million and do not pay taxes on income until the $15 million is recouped. The League league hopes that the benefits of Section 181 would make attracting investors easier, because the investors are currently paying income taxes before recoupment, without making any profit from projects.[13]

Other Lobbying Efforts[edit]

Other recent lobbying efforts by the League include opposing an 8 percent levy on theatre tickets proposed by Governor David Paterson in 2009,[14] and securing tax deductions for suppliers of physical goods used by theatrical productions.[13]

Award Programs[edit]

The Tony Awards[edit]

Main article: Tony Awards
2004 Tony Award for Best Original Score winner, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx

The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Awards, recognize achievement in live American theatre and are presented by the Tony Award Productions, a joint venture of American Theatre Wing and the League, at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are mostly for Broadway productions and performances, though an award for regional theatres and discretionary non-competitive Special Tony Award and the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre are also given.[15][16] The awards were founded by the Wing in 1947, and the League started co-presenting them in 1967.[17][18]

Prior to 2000, membership in what was then The League of American Theaters and Producers was lifetime for all dues-paying above-the-tile producers of Broadway shows. Members received 2 free tickets to all Broadway shows, and ballots for the Tony Awards, vouching that they had seen all shows in every category in which they voted. In 2000, the League changed membership eligibility to "active" producers, ones who had been above-the-title in the previous 10 years. This action dis-enfranchised scores of Tony voters, including Gail Berman, Harve Brosten, Dick Button, Tony Lo Bianco, and Raymond Serra.

The Touring Broadway Awards[edit]

The Touring Broadway Awards (TBAs) recognized outstanding achievement in touring productions of Broadway plays and musicals in North America from 2000 to 2009. Founded in 2000-2001 season by the League, the awards were known until 2004 as the National Broadway Theatre Awards.[19] The awards were presented by the League to "celebrate excellence in touring Broadway by honoring the artists and productions that visit cities across the country each year."[20]

Concert Programs[edit]

Broadway on Broadway[edit]

Cast of Rent performing "Seasons of Love" at Broadway on Broadway, 2005

Broadway on Broadway was a free annual outdoor concert kicking off the Broadway season each September, usually on the first Sunday after Labor Day, produced by the League and the Times Square Alliance. The event took place on a special stage created for the event in Times Square, featuring musical numbers from current Broadway shows as well as upcoming shows opening in the new season.[21]

The event was conceived in 1992 as a welcome party for delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which was held in New York that year. The concert returned in July 1993 and 1994 and moved to September on 1995. It has been held in mid-September ever since. [22]

Broadway on Broadway was canceled in 2013 [23] and did not return in 2014.

Stars in the Alley[edit]

Stars in the Alley is a free annual outdoor concert in Shubert Alley in the heart of Manhattan’s Theatre District, produced by the League. It is usually held during the week of the Tony Awards, and marks the official end of the Broadway season. The 21st annual event was held on June 6, 2007, and the casts of dozens of Broadway shows took part.[24] Though the event was not held from 2008 to 2013, it returned in 2014 featuring Norm Lewis as the host.[25]

Broadway Under the Stars[edit]

Broadway Under the Stars was an annual evening concert held from 2002[26] to 2006.[27]

Tony Awards Preview Concert[edit]

Tony Awards Preview Concert was a cabaret-style concert featuring songs from Tony-nominated shows held in 2008,[28] 2009,[29] and 2013.[30]

The 2013 concert, hosted by Mario Lopez, was aired at various times and dates in 18 cities across the United States and included interviews from the then Tony nominees such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andrea Martin, Mark Rylance, and Rob Ashford.[30]

Audience Development Programs[edit]

Kids’ Night On Broadway[edit]

Kids’ Night On Broadway is an audience development program run by the League and the Theater Development Fund on which kids receive free tickets to Broadway shows when accompanied by a paying adult.[31]

Services[edit]

Internet Broadway Database[edit]

Operated by the research department of the League, The Internet Broadway Database (IBDB) is an online database of Broadway theatre productions and their personnel, including lengths of runs, lists of casts and creators, awards and nominations, and past box office grosses.[32] It is "a definitive source for the facts on Broadway musicals and plays from Aristophanes to Ziegfeld," according to the New York Public Library.[33]

In 2012, the League introduced a free iOS app for IBDB that contain much of the same information as the website, as well as photos and videos from current Broadway productions.[32]

Research[edit]

The League serves as the central hub for statistical information about Broadway theatre production in North America. Its research department maintains historical data on individual playhouses and productions. In addition, many reference documents, including weekly box office grosses and season-by-season statistics, are available to the public, journalists, and scholars via the website. The Research department also publishes annual reports that track trends in the industry over time including the Demographics of the Broadway Audience and Broadway’s Economic Contribution.[34]

Other notable services[edit]

  • Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) (formerly Broadway Goes Green): an initiative that promotes environmentally friendlier practices in theatre production, launched in 2008.[35]
  • Broadway Fan Club: A monthly newsletter [36]
  • Broadway Speakers Bureau: encouraging high school and college students to explore non-performance careers in theatre[37]
  • Apple Awards: a program rewarding efforts to support education programs relating to Broadway or touring Broadway shows that was started in 2003[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IRS Form 990 for fiscal year 2013". Guidestar. IRS. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "About the League". The Broadway League. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Wright, KC. "6 Facts About the Broadway League". Backstage.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Purcell, Carey (8 January 2015). "Three Officers Elected to Broadway League's Board of Governors". Playbill.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "About The League". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  6. ^ a b c d Ken Bloom (2003). Broadway: its history, people, and places : an encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-93704-7.  p. 288
  7. ^ "FAQ - Ticket Reseller". NYS Department of State. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "League of American Theatres and Producers Announces Name Change". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  9. ^ a b Stein, Tobie S.; Bathurst, Jessica (2008). Performing Arts Management: A Handbook of Professional Practices. New York: Allworth Press. ISBN 1-58115-650-2. 
  10. ^ Wyatt, Edward (29 March 2013). "U.S. May Sell Airwaves That Help Broadway Sing". New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Karr, Rick (11 November 2014). "NFL, Broadway Fight FCC Auction Of Broadcast Spectrum". NPR. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Ted (5 February 2015). "Sen. Chuck Schumer Unveils Broadway Tax Legislation". Variety. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Cox, Gordon (28 June 2013). "Broadway May Be Closer to Earning an IRS Write-Off". Variety. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Healy, Patrick (11 March 2009). "Paterson Eliminates Proposed Tax on Theater Tickets". New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Tony Awards Home Page". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  16. ^ "Tony Awards Who's Who". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  17. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  18. ^ Ken Bloom (2003). Broadway: its history, people, and places : an encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-93704-7.  p. 531-532
  19. ^ Simonson, Robert. "National Broadway Theatre Awards Presented on May 21". Playbill.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew (1 May 2009). "Minnelli and Zaks Will Be Presenters at Touring Broadway Awards". Playbill.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "Broadway on Broadway". The Official Site of Times Square. Times Square Alliance. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Concert". The Broadway League. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  23. ^ Gilbert, Ryan (September 9, 2013). "Broadway on Broadway Outdoor Concert in Times Square Canceled for 2013". Broadway.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Mark Rupp (June 7, 2007). "Photo Coverage: Stars in the Alley 2007". Broadway World. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  25. ^ Gordon, David (5 May 2014). "Phantom Star Norm Lewis Will Host Broadway's 2014 Stars in the Alley Concert". Theatermania.com. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  26. ^ "Broadway Under the Stars" Debuts in NYC's Bryant Park, June 10". Playbill. 4 Jun 2002. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  27. ^ Andrew Gans and Ernio Hernandez (26 Jun 2006). ""Broadway Under the Stars" Heads to Central Park June 26 - Playbill.com.". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  28. ^ Andrew Gans (20 Feb 2009). "2008 Tony Preview Concert Nominated for a New York Emmy Award - Playbill.com.". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  29. ^ Andrew Gans (30 May 2009). "Tony Awards Preview Concert, Hosted By Harry Smith, Airs May 30". Playbill. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  30. ^ a b "Lopez Hosts Tony Award Preview Concert Nationwide". Broadway.tv. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  31. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (18 April 2000). "Broadway Goes To School to Get 'Em Young; A Drive to Turn Children Into Avid Theatergoers". New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  32. ^ a b LaFountain, Kristina (15 March 2012). "The Broadway League develops IBDB application". TicketNews. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  33. ^ "Internet Broadway Database". New York Public Library. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  34. ^ "Research & Information". The Broadway League. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  35. ^ "Broadway Green Alliance". Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  36. ^ "Broadway Fan Club". The Broadway League. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  37. ^ "Broadway Speakers Bureau". The Broadway League. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  38. ^ "Apple Awards". The Broadway League. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 

External links[edit]