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February 04, 2013

More Regional Theaters Taking Program Cues from Broadway

Dramas that did well on Broadway in recent years are increasingly dominating programming at nonprofit stages nationwide, raising questions about the artistic mission of regional theaters, writes The Washington Post.

According to the Theatre Communications Group, a trade association for nonprofit theaters, nine of the 11 most-produced plays this season opened on Broadway within the last four years, and several recent New York successes will be produced by 10 or more regional stages in 2012-13. Along with proven audience appeal, many of the plays have small casts, making them less expensive to produce.

"There’s less room for grass-roots, ground-up, vox populi sort of theater when seasons are populated with more and more plays like that," said Gwydion Suilebhan, a Washington, D.C., playwright who blogs about regional theater. "It becomes one voice for the country, instead of a country full of voices."