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Davenport in February 2015
|Born||Kenneth A. Hasija
August 23, 1972
|Alma mater||New York University, Tisch School of Arts|
|Home town||Sturbridge, Massachusetts|
|Spouse(s)||Tracy Weiler (m. 2014)|
Early life and career
Davenport was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Dr. Kenny Hasija and Pamela Soper (née Davenport). He grew up in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and attending Bancroft High School. He attended Johns Hopkins University for one year with the intention of practicing law, before transferring to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Acting.
Davenport began his professional theater career by working as a production assistant on the 1993 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady starring Richard Chamberlain. Before beginning his producing career, he established himself as a company and general manager, working on shows such as Grease, Show Boat, Ragtime, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Gypsy.
Davenport Theatrical Enterprises
Davenport founded Davenport Theatrical Enterprises (DTE) in 2004, and creates, produces, and manages shows under that business. His first ventures as a producer were the three Off-Broadway shows The Awesome 80s Prom, Altar Boyz, and My First Time, which he also wrote. Davenport's first Broadway credit as a producer was 13, and since then he has produced over a dozen other Broadway shows, including the first Broadway revival of Godspell, the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots, and Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening.
Since its founding, DTE has expanded to other areas of the theater business. It now houses Broadway Genius Group Sales, a group sales agency for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows; DTE Agency, a theatrical marketing agency; and DTE Management, a general management division.
DTE also runs several websites, including Your Broadway Genius, Best of Off-Broadway, and both the website and smartphone app Did He Like It?, a review aggregator for New York theater based on New York Times chief theatre critic Ben Brantley. Additionally, Davenport is the creator of Be a Broadway Star, the only Broadway-themed board game.
Davenport's television and film credits include the documentary These Magnificent Miles: On the Road with Red Wanting Blue, and The Bunny Hole, an award-winning television pilot that has appeared in the LA Indie Film Festival, the Orlando Film Festival, the LA Comedy Festival and more.
He is the owner of the Davenport Theatre, an Off-Broadway theater in Manhattan's Theater District. The Davenport Theatre has two performance spaces, a 149-seat main stage on the ground level, and a 60-seat blackbox theater on the upper level. Davenport named the theater after his great-grandfather, Delbert Essex Davenport, who was a theater producer, publicist, author and lyricist in the early 1900s.
Innovations in Marketing and Producing
Davenport is well known among the Broadway community as an innovative producer and marketer. He started The Producer's Perspective in 2008, a blog on which he shares his thoughts, experiences and opinions that is dedicated to making Broadway accessible and understandable.
Davenport's unique marketing initiatives have helped to bring attention to his Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. In 2007, his Off-Broadway show My First Time had a "Virgins get in free" promotion, during which audiences members who were determined to be "virgins" by a psychic received a free ticket to the show. In 2012, Davenport instated the first ever "Tweet Seats" for a Broadway show during his production of Godspell. During a specially designated performance, 15 of the show's biggest fans received free tickets specifically so they could share their experience during the show on Twitter and promote it on social media.
In 2006 on his Off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz, Davenport became the first producer to send audience members a follow-up email after they attended a show, a method now widely used across the industry.
In 2010, Davenport announced that he would be crowd-funding his Broadway revival of Godspell. Godspell was the first Broadway production to use the crowd-funding model. Previously, Broadway investing was open to only accredited investors, who would ordinarily invest tens of thousands of dollars. In comparison, Godspell was largely funded by 700 investors (called "People of Godspell") who were able to invest amounts as small as $1,000. Davenport was lauded for making Broadway investing accessible to "average people," and for helping to bring a new crowd of investors into the Broadway community.
In 2012, Davenport held auditions to find the "Godspell Cast of 2032," a group of children ages 6 to 16 who were given the chance to perform with the Broadway cast. Over 500 children auditioned, and 10 were chosen to join the company of Godspell for the curtain call for one night only.
During the Portland Center Stage run of his musical Somewhere in Time, Davenport used dial-testing to partially gauge audience reaction. Although dial-testing is common in film and television, Davenport was the first producer to use it for the stage. While dial-testing is a controversial issue in the Broadway community, with some believing it will create formulaic theater, others see it as a useful tool, as detailed in the New York Times story covering the testing of Somewhere in Time.
On November 30, 2015, Davenport announced that he would be livestreaming a performance of his Off-Broadway musical, Daddy Long Legs. The performance will be broadcast online for free on December 10, 2015. Although the Metropolitan Opera and National Theatre Live, an initiative of the Royal National Theatre, have broadcast theatrical productions in the past, this will be the first time a Broadway or Off-Broadway production has been livestreamed.
Davenport was named one of Crain's "40 Under 40", and received the 2010 Leonidas A. Nickole Award of Distinction from the Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College. He won the 2008 Spirit of Theatre Award from Theatre Resources Unlimited, and his television pilot The Bunny Hole has been honored at the Orlando Film Festival, the IndieFEST Film Awards, and more.
Davenport has been a guest lecturer at universities in the New York City metropolitan area. He has taught “Acting As A Business” for America Online and was profiled in the premiere issue of Experience magazine as a Broadway “up-and-comer.” His marketing techniques have been profiled in the New York Times and in marketing guru’s Andy Sernovitz’s book Word of Mouth Marketing. Davenport was a member of the BMI Librettist Workshop and is a founding member of the Independent Theater Bloggers Association.
- 2015, Allegiance (Broadway)
- 2015, Daddy Long Legs (Off-Broadway)
- 2015, Spring Awakening (Broadway)
- 2015, That Bachelorette Show (Off-Broadway)
- 2015, The Visit (Broadway)
- 2014, It's Only a Play (Broadway)
- 2014, Mothers and Sons (Broadway)
- 2014, The Bridges of Madison County (Broadway, tour)
- 2013, Gettin' the Band Back Together (George Street Playhouse)
- 2013, Macbeth (Broadway)
- 2013, Kinky Boots (Broadway, tour, Toronto, West End)
- 2011, Godspell (Broadway)
- 2011, Chinglish (Broadway)
- 2010, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage (Off-Broadway)
- 2009, Oleanna (Broadway)
- 2009, Blithe Spirit (Broadway, tour, West End)
- 2009, Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America (Broadway)
- 2008, Speed-the-Plow (Broadway)
- 2008, 13 (Broadway)
- 2007, My First Time (Off-Broadway)
- 2005, Altar Boyz (Off-Broadway)
- 2004, The Awesome 80s Prom (Off-Broadway)
Awards and nominations
- 2015: Tony Award, Best Musical, The Visit (nominee)
- 2015: Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Musical, The Visit (nominee)
- 2014: Tony Award, Best Play, Mothers and Sons (nominee)
- 2014: Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Musical, The Bridges of Madison County (nominee)
- 2013: Tony Award, Best Musical, Kinky Boots (winner)
- 2013: Broadway.com Audience Choice Award, Favorite Play Revival, Macbeth (winner)
- 2012: Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Play, Chinglish (nominee)
- 2012: Broadway.com Audience Choice Award, Favorite Musical Revival, Godspell (winner)
- 2009: Tony Award nominee, Best Special Theatrical Event, Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America (nominee)
- 2009: Broadway.com Audience Choice Award, Favorite Long-Running Off-Broadway Show, Altar Boyz (winner)
- 2009: Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Blithe Spirit (nominee)
- 2005: Drama Desk Award, Outstanding New Musical, Altar Boyz (nominee)
- 2005: Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Off Broadway Musical, Altar Boyz (winner)
- 2005: Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Musical, Altar Boyz (nominee)
- Semon, Craig S. (May 13, 2009). "'Awesome' success:Tony nominations piling up for Sturbridge-born theater producer". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Worcester, MA.
- "Kinky Boots on Broadway: Producer Credits". Playbill Vault. New York, NY. April 4, 2013.
- "Lortel Archives--The Internet Off-Broadway Database". www.lortel.org. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Ken Davenport | IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Broadway Genius Group Sales". broadwaygeniusgroups.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Deals > Your Broadway Genius". www.yourbroadwaygenius.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Did He Like It?". www.didhelikeit.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "Ken Davenport". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- "The Davenport Theatre".
- Davenport, Ken (2014-01-27). "Tada! Introducing The Davenport Theatre!". The Producer's Perspective.
- "The Producer's Perspective. A Broadway Blog by Ken Davenport". www.theproducersperspective.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_KYv3YsG8Y, retrieved 2015-12-08 Missing or empty
- "Godspell Revival Will Offer "Tweet Seat Performance"". Playbill. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- Green, Jesse (2006-07-09). "THEATER; You Saw The Show, Now Read The E-Mail". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- "The 1st ever Crowd-Funded Broadway musical. And it's got your name on it. | The Producer's Perspective". www.theproducersperspective.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- Healy, Patrick (2012-04-18). "Crowd-Sourced Producers for 'Godspell' on Broadway". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- Healy, Patrick (2013-06-25). "Dialing Up a Hit? Influence Over Musical Is in the Crowd's Hands". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
- Davenport, Ken (November 30, 2015). "Yesiree, I'm Live Streaming Daddy Long Legs . . . for free". The Producer's Perspective.
- Crain's 40 Under 40 - 2008
- "Musical Theatre Society presents Leonidas A. Nickole Award of Distinction to Broadway producer Ken Davenport". Emerson College. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "TRU Love Benefit 08". Theatre Resources Unlimited. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
- "The Bunny Hole". The Bunny Hole Show. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-toeLrBGmI, retrieved 2016-01-04 Missing or empty
- "Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking". wordofmouthbook.com. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
- "StageBuzz.com: Announcement - Independent Theater Bloggers Association Award Winners Announced". www.stagebuzz.com. Retrieved 2015-12-08.