There is a really interesting article that was in The Times last week about the state of Off-Broadway. And, in some respects, it's a bit of a downer. The statistics for successful and profitable Off-Broadway productions these days are grim. So grim, that rather than Off-Broadway being the launching pad for new plays and musicals to find their sea legs and audience en route to Broadway, it's become a refuge for successful Broadway plays that want to continue to run their shows, but lower their costs (such as Avenue Q and Rent).
It's too soon to say exactly what this means for a show like Helen on 86th St., but personally, it validates my reasons for hustling for the past six months to make sure Helen has a life on a New York City stage, even if it is only 11 performances being produced on a teeny-tiny budget.
If Off-Broadway is becoming an entity that can only sustain itself by recycling hit Broadway musicals (and I have nothing against that, since I love both Avenue Q and Rent), then it's not the Off-Broadway of yesterday. And so that means, artists are just going to have to find new ways to create their own "Indie-Theatre" and launch their productions.
So, I'm glad to be a part of that "movement." What makes me even happier is that I know my show is going to have a NY premiere in a few months regardless of the dire statistics and current state of Off-Broadway. I'm going to see this show come to life in a fully executed production--and a paying audience is going to be able to take part in that. Is there going to be a profit? Nope. But, if I were doing this for the money, I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.
To read the full Times article, click here.