An off-Broadway theatre is any professional theatre venue 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.
The term originally referred to any venue, and its productions, on a street intersecting Broadway in Midtown Manhattan's Theater District, the hub of the American theatre industry. It later became defined by the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers as a professional venue in Manhattan with a seating capacity of at least 100, but not more than 499, or a 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 Street 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 , Dear Evan Hansen , and Hadestown .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.
|47th Street Theatre||W. 47th St. (No. 304)||196|
|59E59 Theaters, Theatre A||E. 59th St. (No. 59)||196|
|777 Theatre||8th Ave. (No. 777)||158|
|Abrons Arts Center, Playhouse Theatre||Grand St. (No. 466)||300|
|Actors Temple Theatre||W. 47th St. (No. 339)||199|
|Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 480)||191|
|Anne L. Bernstein Theater||W. 50th St. (No. 210)||199|
|Anspacher Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||275|
|Astor Place Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 434)||298|
|Barrow Street Theatre||Barrow St. (No. 27)||199|
|Cherry Lane Theatre||Commerce St. (No. 38)||179|
|Claire Tow Theater||W. 65th St. (No. 150)||112|
|Classic Stage Company||E. 13th St. (No. 136)||199|
|Daryl Roth Theatre||E. 15th St. (No. 101)||299|
|The Duke on 42nd Street||W. 42nd St. (No. 229)||199|
|Elektra Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 300)||199|
|Gramercy Arts Theatre||E. 27th St. (No. 138)||140|
|The Gym at Judson||Thompson St. (No. 243)||200|
|Irene Diamond Stage, Signature Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 480)||294|
|Irish Repertory Theatre||W. 22nd St. (No. 132)||148|
|Jerome Robbins Theatre||W. 37th St. (No. 450)||238|
|Jerry Orbach Theater||W. 50th St. (No. 210)||199|
|John Cullum Theatre||W. 54th St. (No. 314)||140|
|Laura Pels Theatre||W. 46th St. (No. 111)||425|
|Linda Gross Theatre||W. 20th St. (No. 336)||199|
|Lucille Lortel Theatre||Christopher St. (No. 121)||299|
|LuEsther Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||160|
|Lynn Redgrave Theatre||Bleecker St. (No. 45)||199|
|Manhattan Movement & Arts Center||W. 60th St. (No. 248)||180|
|Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater||W. 63rd St. (No. 5)||145|
|Martinson Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||199|
|McGinn/Cazale Theatre||Broadway (No. 2162)||108|
|Minetta Lane Theatre||Minetta Lane (No. 18)||391|
|Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater||W. 65th St. (No. 150)||299|
|New Victory Theater||W. 42nd St. (No. 209)||499|
|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|
|New York City Center Stage I||W. 55th St. (No. 131)||300|
|New York City Center Stage II||W. 55th St. (No. 131)||150|
|New York Theatre Workshop, Theatre 79||E. 4th St. (No. 79)||199|
|Newman Theatre||Lafayette St. (No. 425)||299|
|Orpheum Theatre||Second Ave. (No. 126)||347|
|Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Playwrights Horizons||W. 42nd St. (No. 416)||128|
|Players Theatre||MacDougal St. (No. 115)||248|
|Playwrights Horizons Mainstage||W. 42nd St. (No. 416)||198|
|The Shed (Kenneth C. Griffin Theater)||545 W. 30th St.||500|
|Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre||W. 42nd St. (No. 480)||191|
|SoHo Playhouse||Vandam St. (No. 15)||178|
|St. Luke's Theatre||W. 46th St. (No. 308)||178|
|Stage 42||W. 42nd St. (No. 422)||499|
|Theatre 555||W. 42nd St. (No. 555)||130|
|Theatre 80 St. Mark's||St. Mark's Place (No. 80)||160|
|Theatre at St. Clement's Church||W. 46th St. (No. 423)||151|
|Theatre Three at Theatre Row||W. 42nd St. (No. 410)||199|
|Tony Kiser Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 305)||296|
|Triad Theatre||W. 72nd St. (No. 158)||130|
|Vineyard Theatre||E. 15th St. (No. 108)||132|
|Westside Theatre, Downstairs Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 407)||249|
|Westside Theatre, Upstairs Theatre||W. 43rd St. (No. 407)||270|
|York Theatre||Lexington Ave. (No. 619)||161|
Broadway theatre, or Broadway, are the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and the 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.
The Fantasticks is a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt and book 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.
The Obie Awards or Off-Broadway Theater Awards are annual awards originally given by The Village Voice newspaper to theatre artists and groups in New York City. In September 2014, the awards were jointly presented and administered with the American Theatre Wing. As the Tony Awards cover Broadway productions, the Obie Awards cover off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions.
Playbill is an American monthly magazine for theatergoers. Although there is a subscription issue available for home delivery, most copies of Playbill are printed for particular productions and distributed at the door as the show's program.
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.
Robert Cuccioli is an American actor and singer. 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 for outstanding actor in a musical.
The Nederlander Theatre is a Broadway theater at 208 West 41st Street in the Theater District of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Opened in 1921, it was designed by William Neil Smith for theatrical operator Walter C. Jordan. It has around 1,235 seats across two levels and is operated by the Nederlander Organization. Since 1980, it has been named for American theater impresario David Tobias Nederlander, father of theatrical producer James M. Nederlander. It is the southernmost Broadway theater in the Theater District.
Ann Harada is an American actress and singer who was first known for the musical Avenue Q, in which she originated the role of Christmas Eve, the heavily accented Japanese therapist.
Santino Fontana is an American actor and singer. He has received a Tony Award, two Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lortel Award, Obie Award, and Clarence Derwent Award in a mix of straight plays and musicals. A two-time Tony Award nominee and three-time Drama Desk Award nominee, Fontana won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, and Outer Critics Circle Award for his lead performance as Michael Dorsey in the stage adaptation of Tootsie.
Second Stage Theater is a theater company founded in 1979 by Robyn Goodman and Carole Rothman 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.
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.
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.
The Lucille Lortel Awards recognize excellence in New York Off-Broadway theatre. The Awards are named for Lucille Lortel, an actress and theater producer, and have been awarded since 1986. They are produced by the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers by special arrangement with the Lucille Lortel Foundation, with additional support from the Theatre Development Fund.
Alex Timbers is an American writer and director and the recipient of Tony, Golden Globe, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and London Evening Standard Awards, as well as two OBIE and Lucile Lortel Awards. He is the recipient of the 2019 Drama League Founder's Award for Excellence in Directing and the 2016 Jerome Robbins Award for Directing. He was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award. For his work on Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Timbers won a 2021 Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical.
Gordon Greenberg is a stage director, a theater and television writer, and an Artistic Associate at The New Group.
Andy Sandberg is an American director, writer, actor, and producer. A 2005 graduate of Yale College, his Off-Broadway directing credits include Straight, Application Pending, Shida, Craving for Travel, Operation Epsilon, and The Last Smoker in America. He is also known as a producer of the Broadway (2009) and West End (2010) revivals of the musical Hair.
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.
The Select is a stage adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises by Elevator Repair Service theater ensemble. It has been performed in several venues. It premiered at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The Off-Broadway production, which ran from September 11 – October 23, 2011 at the New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), earned awards for its sound design. The show directed by John Collins and produced by Ariana Smart Truman and Lindsay Hockaday received the Lucille Lortel Award for being outstanding.
Lucas Steele is an American stage actor best known for his role as Anatole in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.
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."