What will Broadway look like a decade from now? The Broadway League has an eye fixed on the future of our industry. Broadway’s trade organization makes a substantial investment on the part of its members to create audience engagement programs that grow audiences through diversity and inclusion—and develop new generations of theatregoers in NYC and across North America. Here is a look at how the League deepens Broadway’s connections with current audiences, develops new ones, and ensures that the industry authentically reflects the communities we serve.
Broadway Bridges™ is an ambitious new program that aims to bring every NYC public high school student to a Broadway show before graduating. In 2017–18 so far, more than 8,500 tenth graders from all five boroughs have seen one of 18 participating shows. Producers generously make $20 tickets available, which Broadway Bridges then offers to schools for $10 each. The program enriches students’ arts education while helping to create a more diverse audience and future workforce for live theatre.
Viva Broadway builds bridges between Broadway and Hispanic/Latino audiences around the country. Gloria and Emilio Estefan serve as Global Ambassadors for the initiative, with Luis Miranda (father of Lin-Manuel) serving as Advisory Board Chair.
Kids’ Night on Broadway® brings kids and families to Broadway on one single, spectacular evening by offering free tickets and special theatergoing experiences to young people aged 18 and under when accompanied by a full-paying adult. In February 2018, Kids’ Night brought more than 90,000 kids and parents to 16 participating shows in New York City. Broadway national tours also offer kids’ nights across the country, with local presenters putting their own unique spin on the program.
Presented by United Airlines, Stars in the Alley sees Broadway fans from around the world converging in Shubert Alley each spring for a free outdoor concert celebrating the close of the theatrical season as well as the upcoming Tony Awards.
Family First Nights encourages financially at-risk families to regularly attend theatre by providing orchestra seating at $10 a ticket. The families receive study guides and other materials in advance, and often get to meet cast members and participate in talk-backs following the performances. During the 2016–17 season, more than 400 individuals went as a family to such shows as Aladdin, Cats, On Your Feet!, School of Rock, The Lion King, and Wicked.
My Broadway Story is a new video initiative that reaches out to the African-American community with testimonials from Broadway stars of color sharing how working in live theatre enriches their life. Recent videos have featured The Color Purple’s Danielle Brooks and Keke Palmer from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.