A word on "Off broadway"...

The terms "Broadway", "Off Broadway", and "Off Off Broadway" refer to NYC union contracts for theaters of 500-seats, 100-499 seats, and fewer than 100 seats, respectively.  A larger theater — which can theoretically bring in more money — requires a contract with larger minimum salaries for its employees and tends to boast bigger budgets for design and marketing.

However, a bigger contract doesn't necessarily mean a better — or even more "professional" — production. For example, Broadway shows often feature movie stars, who may have far less experience and facility with the demands of the stage. (After all, they've been busy making movies!) On the other hand, groundbreaking experimental companies regularly mount their work Off Off Broadway, where cheaper rents are more conducive to risk-taking and the relationship between performers and spectators is more intimate.

The terminology of "Broadway" and "Off Broadway" is problematic. Defining all theater against the somewhat arbitrary standard of "Broadway" substitutes an objective financial assessment for a subjective artistic assessment. That's an understandable trade-off, but I fear it incorrectly implies that more lucrative projects have greater artistic merit. If that's the case, then why do so many successful Broadway shows come from Off Broadway (recent examples include HamiltonDear Evan Hansen, Once, and Peter and the Starcatcher) or Off Off Broadway (recent examples include Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812Hand to GodTitle of Show, and Urinetown)?

It's a questionable paradigm, and — much as I love Broadway — one I participate in reluctantly. These terms obscure as much as they clarify.

All that said, I'm grateful for the higher salaries and visibility that bigger contracts afford, and I'm thrilled to work on Broadway and Off Broadway projects.


A word on "major off broadway"...

When I talk about "major Off Broadway," I'm defining that as Off Broadway contracts at New York theaters with annual operating budgets of between $2 million and $41 million (including Atlantic Theater Company, Classic Stage Company, MCC, New York Theatre Workshop, Signature, Second Stage, The Public Theater, and Playwrights Horizons).

These theaters all put up full seasons of work every year, have annual subscribers, and consistently get reviewed by The New York Times and other major papers.

My first major Off Broadway show was Dying For It at Atlantic Theater Company in 2015.  It came over ten years after I moved to New York, and it was a major step forward for me professionally.

There's a second tier of Off Broadway that's also important -- a small number of theater companies that don't own their own spaces and have operating budgets under $2 million, but that regularly get reviewed by the Times.

TACT, where I made my Off Broadway debut, rents space at Theatre Row.