An off-Broadway theatre is any professional theatre venue in Manhattan in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, inclusive. These theatres are smaller than Broadway theatres, but larger than off-off-Broadway theatres, which seat fewer than 100.
An "off-Broadway production" is a production of a play, musical, or revue that appears in such a venue and adheres to related trade union and other contracts.Some shows that premiere off-Broadway are subsequently produced on Broadway.
Originally referring to the location of a venue and its productions on a street intersecting Broadway in Manhattan's Theater District, the hub of the theatre industry in New York, the term later became defined by the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers as a professional venue in Manhattan with a seating capacity between 100 and 499 (inclusive) or a specific production that appears in such a venue and adheres to related trade union and other contracts.
Previously, regardless of the size of the venue, a theatre was considered a Broadway (rather than off-Broadway) house if it was within the "Broadway Box", extending from 40th north to 54th Street and from Sixth Avenue west to Eighth Avenue, including Times Square and West 42nd Street. This change to the contractual definition of "off-Broadway" benefited theatres satisfying the 499-seat criterion because of the lower minimum required salary for Actors' Equity performers at Off-Broadway theatres as compared with the salary requirements of the union for Broadway theatres.The adoption of the 499-seat criterion occurred after a one-day strike in January 1974. Examples of off-Broadway theatres within the Broadway Box are the Laura Pels Theatre and The Theater Center.
The off-Broadway movement started in the 1950s as a reaction to the perceived commercialism of Broadway and provided less expensive venues for shows that have employed many future Broadway artists. An early success was Circle in the Square Theatre's 1952 production of Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams.According to theatre historians Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik, Off-Broadway offered a new outlet for "poets, playwrights, actors, songwriters, and designers. ... The first great Off-Broadway musical was the 1954 revival" of The Threepenny Opera , which proved that off-Broadway productions could be financially successful. Theatre Row, on West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues in Manhattan, is a concentration of off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway theatres. It was developed in the mid-1970s and modernized in 2002.
Many off-Broadway shows have had subsequent runs on Broadway, including such successful musicals as Hair , Godspell , Little Shop of Horrors , Sunday in the Park with George , Rent , Grey Gardens , Urinetown , Avenue Q , The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee , Rock of Ages , In the Heights , Spring Awakening , Next to Normal , Hedwig and the Angry Inch , Fun Home , Hamilton , and Dear Evan Hansen .In particular, two that became Broadway hits, Grease and A Chorus Line , encouraged other producers to premiere their shows off-Broadway. Plays that have moved from off-Broadway houses to Broadway include Doubt , I Am My Own Wife , Bridge & Tunnel , The Normal Heart , and Coastal Disturbances . Other productions, such as Stomp , Blue Man Group , Altar Boyz , Perfect Crime , Forbidden Broadway , Nunsense , Naked Boys Singing , Bat Boy: The Musical , and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change have had runs of many years off-Broadway, never moving to Broadway. The Fantasticks , the longest-running musical in theatre history, spent its original 42-year run off-Broadway and began another long off-Broadway run in 2006.
Off-Broadway shows, performers, and creative staff are eligible for the following awards: the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Obie Award (presented since 1956 by The Village Voice ), the Lucille Lortel Award (created in 1985 by the League of Off-Broadway Theatres & Producers), and the Drama League Award. Although off-Broadway shows are not eligible for Tony Awards, an exception was made in 1956 (before the rules were changed), when Lotte Lenya won Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for the off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera .
Capacity is based on the capacity given for the respective theatre at the Internet Off-Broadway Database.
|New World Stages, Stage 1||W. 50th St. (No. 340)||499|
|New World Stages, Stage 2||W. 50th St. (No. 340)||350|
|New World Stages, Stage 3||W. 50th St. (No. 340)||499|
|New World Stages, Stage 4||W. 50th St. (No. 340)||350|
|New World Stages, Stage 5||W. 50th St. (No. 340)||199|
|59E59 Theaters, Theatre A||E. 59th St. (No. 59)||196|
|Theatre Three at Theatre Row||W. 42nd St. (No. 410)||199|
|Irene Diamond Stage, Signature Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 480)||294|
|Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 480)||191|
|Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 480)||191|
|Playwrights Horizons Mainstage||W. 42nd St. (No. 416)||198|
|Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons||W. 42nd St. (No. 416)||128|
|Stage 42||W. 42nd St. (No. 422)||499|
|St. Luke's Theatre||W. 46th St. (No. 308)||178|
|York Theatre||Lexington Ave. (No. 619)||161|
|Lucille Lortel Theatre||Christopher St. (No. 121)||299|
|The Duke on 42nd Street||W. 42nd St. (No. 229)||199|
|New Victory Theater||W. 42nd St. (No. 209)||499|
|Tony Kiser Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 305)||296|
|McGinn/Cazale Theatre||Broadway (No. 2162)||108|
|Westside Theatre, Upstairs Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 407)||270|
|Westside Theatre, Downstairs Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 407)||249|
|Vineyard Theatre||E. 15th St. (No. 108)||132|
|Triad Theatre||W. 72nd St. (No. 158)||130|
|Laura Pels Theatre||W. 46th St. (No. 111)||425|
|Jerry Orbach Theater||W. 50th St. (No. 210)||199|
|Anne L. Bernstein Theater||W. 50th St. (No. 210)||199|
|SoHo Playhouse||Vandam St. (No. 15)||178|
|Orpheum Theatre||Second Ave. (No. 126)||347|
|Minetta Lane Theatre||Minetta Lane (No. 18)||391|
|New York Theatre Workshop, Theatre 79||E. 4th St. (No. 79)||199|
|Claire Tow Theater||W. 65th St. (No. 150)||112|
|Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater||W. 65th St. (No. 150)||299|
|New York City Center Stage I||W. 55th St. (No. 131)||300|
|New York City Center Stage II||W. 55th St. (No. 131)||150|
|Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater||W. 63rd St. (No. 5)||145|
|Linda Gross Theatre||W. 20th St. (No. 336)||199|
|Irish Repertory Theatre||W. 22nd St. (No. 132)||148|
|Gramercy Arts Theatre||E. 27th St. (No. 138)||140|
|Classic Stage Company||E. 13th St. (No. 136)||199|
|Cherry Lane Theatre||Commerce St. (No. 38)||179|
|Jerome Robbins Theatre||W. 37th St. (No. 450)||238|
|Barrow Street Theatre||Barrow St. (No. 27)||199|
|Astor Place Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 434)||298|
|Actors Temple Theatre||W. 47th St. (No. 339)||199|
|47th Street Theatre||W. 47th St. (No. 304)||196|
|Daryl Roth Theatre||E. 15th St. (No. 101)||299|
|Lynn Redgrave Theatre||Bleecker St. (No. 45)||199|
|Elektra Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 300)||199|
|777 Theatre||8th Ave. (No. 777)||158|
|John Cullum Theatre||W. 54th St. (No. 314)||140|
|Manhattan Movement & Arts Center||W. 60th St. (No. 248)||180|
|Players Theatre||MacDougal St. (No. 115)||248|
|Theatre 80 St. Mark's||St. Mark's Place (No. 80)||160|
|Theatre at St. Clement's Church||W. 46th St. (No. 423)||151|
|The Gym at Judson||Thompson St. (No. 243)||200|
|LuEsther Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||160|
|Martinson Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||199|
|Newman Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||299|
|Anspacher Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||275|
|Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse Theatre||Grand St. (No. 466)||300|
Jerome Bernard Orbach was an American actor and singer, described at the time of his death as "one of the last bona fide leading men of the Broadway musical and global celebrity on television" and a "versatile stage and film actor".
Broadway theatre, also known simply as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Broadway and London's West End together represent the highest commercial level of live theater in the English-speaking world. While the thoroughfare itself has become eponymous with the district and its collection of 41 theatres, only three of the theatres are physically located on Broadway itself. The rest are located on the numbered cross streets extending from the Nederlander Theatre one block south of Times Square on West 41st Street, north along either side of Broadway to the Vivian Beaumont Theater, located outside of the Theater District on West 65th street, with the highest concentration of theaters located between 42nd Street and 49th Street. While exceptions exist, the term "Broadway theatre" is generally reserved for venues with a seating capacity of at least 500 people, smaller theaters are referred to as off-Broadway, while very small venues are called off-off-Broadway, a term that can also apply to non-commercial or avant garde theater, or productions held outside of traditional theater venues.
The Fantasticks is a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones. It tells an allegorical story, loosely based on the 1894 play The Romancers by Edmond Rostand, concerning two neighboring fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud.
Susan P. Stroman is an American theatre director, choreographer, film director and performer. Her notable theater productions include The Producers, Crazy for You, Contact, and The Scottsboro Boys. She is a five-time Tony Award winner, four for Best Choreography and one as Best Director of a Musical for The Producers. In addition, she is a recipient of two Laurence Olivier Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, eight Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater. She is a 2014 inductee in the American Theater Hall of Fame in New York City.
New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) is an Off-Broadway theatre noted for its productions of new works. Located at 79 East 4th Street between Second Avenue and Bowery in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, it houses a 198-seat theatre for its mainstage productions, and a 75-seat black box theatre for staged readings and developing work in the building next door, at 83 East 4th Street.
Lucille Lortel was an American actress, artistic director, and theatrical producer. In the course of her career Lortel produced or co-produced nearly 500 plays, five of which were nominated for Tony Awards: As Is by William M. Hoffman, Angels Fall by Lanford Wilson, Blood Knot by Athol Fugard, Mbongeni Ngema's Sarafina!, and A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing. She also produced Marc Blitzstein's adaptation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera, a production which ran for seven years and according to The New York Times "caused such a sensation that it...put Off-Broadway on the map."
Robert Cuccioli is an American actor and singer born in Hempstead, New York. He is best known for originating the lead dual title roles in the musical Jekyll and Hyde, for which he received a Tony Award nomination and won the Joseph Jefferson Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Fany Award.
The David T. Nederlander Theatre is a 1,232-seat Broadway theater located at 208 West 41st Street, in New York City. It is one of the Nederlander Organization's nine Broadway theaters. Since 1980 it has been named for 20th century American theater impresario David Tobias Nederlander. It is the southernmost theater in the theater district.
Stephen Sondheim Theatre, formerly Henry Miller's Theatre, is a Broadway theatre operated by the Roundabout Theatre Company. It's located at 124 West 43rd Street, between Broadway and 6th Avenue, in Manhattan's Theater District.
Second Stage Theater is a theater company founded in 1979 and located in Manhattan, New York City. It produces both new plays and revivals of contemporary American plays by new playwrights and established writers. The company has two off-Broadway theaters, their main stage, the Tony Kiser Theater at 305 West 43rd Street on the corner of Eighth Avenue near the Theater District, and the McGinn/Cazale Theater at 2162 Broadway at 76th Street on the Upper West Side. In April 2015, the company bought the Helen Hayes Theater, a Broadway theater.
Classic Stage Company, or CSC, is a classical Off-Broadway theater dedicated to re-imagining the classical repertory for a contemporary American audience, presenting plays from the past that speak directly to today's issues. Founded in 1967, Classic Stage Company is one of Off-Broadway's longest-enduring theaters. Its 199-seat theatre is the former Abbey Theatre located at 136 East 13th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues in the East Village near Union Square, Manhattan, New York City.
The Broadway League, formerly the League of American Theatres and Producers and League of New York Theatres and Producers, is the national trade association for the Broadway theatre industry based in New York, New York. Its members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in New York and more than 250 other North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry.
The New York Musical Festival (NYMF) was an annual three-week summer festival which presented more than thirty new musicals at venues in New York City's midtown theater district. More than half of these productions are chosen by leading theater artists and producers through an open-submission, double-blind evaluation process; the remaining shows are invited to participate by the Festival's artistic staff. There were sixteen iterations of NYMF in total, one every year from 2004 to 2019.
Kevin Cahoon is an American actor, theatre director, and singer-songwriter.
Gerard Alessandrini is an American playwright, parodist, actor and theatre director best known for creating the award-winning off-Broadway musical theatre parody revue Forbidden Broadway. He is the recipient of Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, an Obie Award, four Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and two Lucille Lortel Awards, as well as the Drama League Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre.
New World Stages is a five-theater, Off-Broadway performing arts complex in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. It is located between 49th and 50th Streets beneath the plaza of the Worldwide Plaza complex at Eighth Avenue.
Shubert Alley is a narrow 300-foot (91 m) long pedestrian alley at the heart of the Broadway theater district of New York City. It splits a block, as it runs parallel to and between Eighth Avenue and Broadway, linking West 44th Street to West 45th Street. It contains approximately 6,400 square feet (590 m2) of public space.
Manhattan Ensemble Theatre ("MET") was an award-winning, nonprofit, theatre company based in New York City from 1999 to 2007. The company was founded as an Off-Broadway, Equity repertory company in 1999 by writer-producer David Fishelson with the stated mission of creating theatrical adaptations of stories found in fiction, journalism, film, biography and memoir.
David J. "Dave" Fishelson is an American producer, playwright, and director for film, theatre, television and radio, based in Manhattan since 1982. He is best known for being the lead producer of Golda's Balcony, the longest-running one-woman show in Broadway history (2003–05)—which he also produced as a feature motion picture, Golda's Balcony , that was popular in over 75 film festivals in 2019-20)—as well as being the founder/producer of Manhattan Ensemble Theatre ("MET"), an award-winning Off-Broadway theatre company located in SoHo, New York City. As a filmmaker, his work has been broadcast on PBS, exhibited theatrically, and selected for 87 international film festivals. As a theatre producer and playwright, his work has garnered 31 nominations from the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie, Drama League, Lortel, Blackburn Prize and Touring Broadway awards organizations, while landing on Time Out NY's year-end "Best in Theatre" list on 4 different occasions.
No matter what else you may have heard, the distinction is mainly one of contracts. There are so many theatres of so many different sizes served by so many different unions in New York that this three-tiered Broadway/Off-Broadway/Off-Off-Broadway system evolved to determine who would get paid what. ... Most "Broadway" theatres are not on Broadway, the street. A few theatres on Broadway, the street, are considered "Off-Broadway."