It’s my contention that theater will be part of what heals our society as we overcome our grief and recover from this tragic worldwide pandemic. Part of what I’m doing with the New Broadway blog is to share insights from Broadway insiders and also provide a distraction from the daily news. All Broadway productions, including our Exit Strategy play, have been postponed because of COVID-19.
The Nederlander Organization owns 9 Broadway theaters, the second largest in New York City. Here’s excerpts from an interview of Nick Scandalios, Executive Vice President, about scouting for new projects.*
His last paragraph is prescient – what will appeal to audiences when theaters reopen.
I think it’s always about finding another voice and not imitating something that was recently successful, which is enormously difficult to avoid! What’s interesting to me is the difference between current and older “blockbuster” musicals. When you look at a five-year period and combine the collective impact of shows like Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and Come From Away, you start to feel the direction of new content, writing, and style within musical theater.
I think that keeps the theater vibrant. It moves and evolves like an amoeba rather than a distinct line because imitation is ineffective and uninteresting…Between today’s political climate and the abundance of electronic devices and social media, individuals of all demographics are suffering from isolation.
The theater is more and more a respite…I think people come to shows to both release and to feel, which is in many ways enabling more challenging content to be produced than ever before. People are hungry for connection. It’s quite profound and powerful to see what our audiences are embracing now.