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The Broadway League

The Broadway League, Inc.
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 .com.broadwayleaguewww
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 based in New York, New York. 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.

Founded in 1930 primarily to counter ticket speculation and scalping, the Broadway League has expanded its mission and programs over time. In addition to negotiating labor agreements with 14 unions in New York City and engaging in lobbying initiatives throughout the country, the League recognizes excellent works and artists through award programs such as Tony Awards, promotes the Broadway theatre industry through audience development programs such as Kids' Night on Broadway and Viva Broadway, and provides periodical studies and industry information such as box office grosses and demographic surveys for journalists, scholars, and the general public.

Contents

  • Membership 1
  • History 2
  • Labor negotiations 3
    • Broadway stagehand strike in 2007 3.1
    • Broadway musicians strike in 2003 3.2
  • Government relations 4
    • Wireless microphone spectrum 4.1
    • The Support Theaters in America Growth and Expansion Act 4.2
  • Award programs 5
    • The Tony Awards 5.1
    • The Touring Broadway Awards 5.2
  • Concert programs 6
  • Audience development programs 7
  • Services 8
    • Internet Broadway Database 8.1
    • Research 8.2
    • Other notable services 8.3
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Membership

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

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, with the main purpose of fighting ticket speculation and scalping.[5] 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

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

  • Official website

External links

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return p

end

', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )
%s
function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '

function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --

end

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function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '

function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end

function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end


-- Helper functions


local p = {}

local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


References

See also

  • Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) (formerly Broadway Goes Green): an initiative that promotes environmentally friendlier practices in theatre production, launched in 2008.[44]
  • Broadway Fan Club: A monthly newsletter [45]
  • Broadway Speakers Bureau: encouraging high school and college students to explore non-performance careers in theatre[46]
  • Apple Awards: a program rewarding efforts to support education programs relating to Broadway or touring Broadway shows that was started in 2003[47]

Other notable services

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.[42] To obtain demographic information, the League hands out questionnaires at select performances to directly survey audience members. The survey tracks basic demographic information such as their gender, age, place of residence, and ethnicity, as well as theatergoing behaviors such as the number of plays and musicals they have attended in the past six months. For example, the New York Times reported that "tourists accounted for nearly two-thirds of the tickets sold for Broadway shows" and "those who saw 15 shows or more made up only 5 percent of the overall audience, but accounted for 29 percent of admissions" in 2010-11 season based on the studies published by the League.[43]

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. Theatre publications such as the New York Times, Playbill, and Variety publish databases and articles using data provided by the League.

Research

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.[40] It is "a definitive source for the facts on Broadway musicals and plays from Aristophanes to Ziegfeld," according to the New York Public Library.[41] 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.[40]

Internet Broadway Database

Services

In 2012, the League launched a new audience development program named Viva Broadway, which focuses on Hispanic communities around the country. Working with Hispanic media outlets, Viva Broadway aims to promote Broadway to Hispanic families, proposing theatergoing experiences that fit their lifestyles and cultural traditions to engage in family activities involving multiple generations.[38] Broadway Speakers Bureau, a program that encourages high school and college students to pursue non-performance careers in theatre, was also created as a part of Viva Broadway.[39]

The Broadway League leads audience development programs targeting specific communities to broaden the audience base for Broadway productions. For example, Kids' Night on Broadway was created by the League and the Theater Development Fund to provide families across the U.S. affordable access to Broadway productions. On Kids' Night On Broadway, children between ages 6 to 18 receive free tickets to participating Broadway shows when accompanied by a paying adult.[37] Similarly, Family First Nights introduce economically at-risk families to Broadway productions in New York as well as around the country through subsidized tickets.

Audience development programs

Other concert programs include Broadway Under the Stars, an annual evening concert held from 2002[34] to 2006,[35] and a benefit concert for Viva Broadway, an audience development initiative specifically targeted to Hispanic communities.[36]

Tony Awards Preview Concert was a cabaret-style concert featuring songs from Tony-nominated shows held in 2008,[31] 2009,[32] and 2013.[33] 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.[33]

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.[29] Though the event was not held from 2008 to 2013, it returned in 2014 featuring Norm Lewis as the host.[30]

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. Initially conceived as a welcome party for delegates to the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York, 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.[26] The concert returned in July 1993 and 1994 and moved to September on 1995.[27] Broadway on Broadway was canceled in 2013 [28] and did not return in 2014.

The Broadway League produces various concert programs such as Broadway on Broadway and Stars in the Alley to promote productions currently running on Broadway.

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

Concert programs

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.[24] 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."[25]

The Touring Broadway Awards

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 two 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 Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Awards, recognize achievement in live American theatre. The Tony Awards 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.[20][21] The awards were founded by the Wing in 1947, and the League started co-presenting them in 1967.[22][23]

2004 Tony Award for Best Original Score winner, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx

The Tony Awards

Award programs

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.[19] 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.[16]

The Support Theaters in America Growth and Expansion Act

The Broadway League, in conjunction with the National Football League and large churches, is protesting against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s plans to auction the frequencies used by wireless microphones used in theatres and venues throughout the U.S.[17][18]

Wireless microphone spectrum

The Broadway League has advocated for the needs of commercial theatre industry with local, state and national elected officials throughout its history, beginning with writing of the Theater Ticket Code of Fair Practice which became a state law in 1940. Recent lobbying efforts by the League include opposing an 8 percent levy on theatre tickets proposed by Governor David Paterson in 2009,[15] and securing tax deductions for suppliers of physical goods used by theatrical productions.[16]

Government relations

The focus of the negotiation was the minimum number of musicians required to be employed in Broadway theatres. The labor agreement required 24 to 25 musicians to be employed in largest theatres, regardless of the needs of the actual productions presented. Under the new agreement, the minimums were reduced to 18 to 19.[14]

The Local 802 of AFM, the union representing the musicians on Broadway, entered into a strike in March 2003 and was joined by other Broadway unions such as AEA and IATSE. The strike lasted from Friday, March 7, 2003 to early Tuesday morning, March 11, 2003.[14]

Broadway musicians strike in 2003

The main conflict in the negotiation was the work rules regarding load-ins. The existing contract required producers to determine a number of stagehands needed for the load-in ahead of time, and hire and pay all of them every day for the entire load-in period, which could take weeks to months for large-scale productions. However, because the workload differs everyday, many stagehands often just stayed in the theatres with nothing to do. The new contract set the daily minimum during the load-in to 17 stagehands, allowing the producers to hire stagehands based on daily workload.[12]

The economic impact of the strike spread beyond the Broadway shows, to nearby restaurants, hotels, gift shops, and bars. Tim Tompkins, the head of the Times Square Business Improvement District, explained that “a lot of folks come to New York specifically to go to a Broadway show and with this cloud of uncertainty, they postpone or cancel their trips. So that’s a double hit." [13] According to the New York City comptroller’s office, the strike resulted in $2 million in lost revenue per day in addition to the lost ticket sales, mounting to $40 million total.[12]

The most recent strike on Broadway occurred in November 2007, when the Broadway League and the stagehands union, Local 1 of the IATSE, failed to come to agreement after months of negotiation. The Local 1 was joined by other Broadway unions such as AEA and SDC, and 27 shows running on Broadway were shut down. This marked the first strike on Broadway in the Local One’s 120-year history, and the strike lasted for 19 days, recording the longest strike on Broadway since 1975.[12]

Broadway stagehand strike in 2007

Out of 40 existing Broadway theatres, the collectively bargained agreements the League negotiates with unions only apply to the theatres owned by the Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Theater, and Manhattan Theatre Club are under the jurisdiction of the League of Resident Theatres which negotiates separate agreements with unions. Disney Theatrical Group who owns New Amsterdam Theatre also negotiates labor agreements independently, as well as a handful of others.[10][11]

[9]

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