The Playgoer: Profit Without Risk?

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Profit Without Risk?

NY Times theatre news today leads with The Public's new deal with Broadway. After missing out on profits for the commercial transfer of the original "Hair" forty years ago, and after almost bankrupting the institution to play Broadway Producer themselves (on two George Wolfe follies), they've finally figured out how to have artistic control, get credit and a cut, and not stake anything!

But how, you ask?

According to the current leadership, what’s different about the new deal is that the relationship between producing partners is spelled out in a contract, not based on a handshake. The Public will have an equal say in all artistic and business matters, from the marketing campaign to scenic design, Andrew Hamingson, the Public’s executive director, said.

He added that the Public would get a much greater percentage of the net profits, about twice the amount it would have received under previous royalty agreements. Not every detail has been worked out because money is still being raised for the production, which is expected to cost $6.5 million.
That's about all the detail you get here, unfortunately. I'm still curious how, gee, no one ever seemed to have thought about it before!

I guess if they can make it work, more power to them. But what are the implications of this new model for the future of commercial/nonprofit collaborations and "enhancement"?

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