Anyone working in the theatre world, knows how difficult and exciting (and by exciting I mean nerve-wracking) raising money to produce shows can be. The SEC rules for patrons are extensive and bordering on archaic. Fortunately, these rules are getting an overhaul that will make them easier on patrons and producers alike this Fall.
Why is this important to us? Because it could completely change the face of theatre and productions—both on and off Broadway. Smaller but more numerous patrons a la Kickstarter style will allow producers to open funding to, essentially, the world. And when this happens, theatre wins because it decreases the likelihood a great production can’t be produced due to lack of funding.
Here is a great article that we found in The New York Times about how successful funding can be in the world of theatre—as brilliantly done by Jaime Hendry, a London Producer—and why the current rules need to be changed if the U.S. wants to see funding success that London is starting to experience. Smell of the Greasepaint, the Funds of the Crowd
Just ask Ken Davenport (The Producer’s Perspective), a theatre producer who attempted crowdfunding theatre projects here in the U.S., but was stymied by “The Rules.”
I just find it ridiculous in this country that we prevent people from investing in Broadway if they are not accredited and well connected to producers, and yet anyone can travel within 60 miles of their homes and bet their life savings at a casino…”
Having produced many plays in our lifetime, we have seen that the important/serious ideas are ones that need serious investors—one who want to bring great ideas and values to the theatre and to the world—regardless of their ability to spend $50 or $50,000.
The game is on in London and New York to find the investors of the future.—Jaime Hendry