There’s More to Theater Than Broadway: An Introduction

Yesterday, I received an email from someone who wrote this,

“y r u covering theater in Chicago and IA? Only Broadway matters.”

Well, I happen to live in Iowa at the moment and I will be living in Chicago. And both areas have very vibrant theater scenes. (Chicago more so than Iowa)

Before you say, “Monica, don’t freak out over some teenager’s opinion,” I can’t let this go by. This is because one of my biggest pet peeves, right up there with people who clap in between movements of music, is that some people think that the only element of theater in America that matters is Broadway. It just drives me up the wall and I view it as being a bit ignorant.

I don’t think that it’s wrong to go see a Broadway show. When I’m in New York, I go see Broadway plays. (although, I confess that I’m much more excited for what I plan to see off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway.) Broadway is a place that songs are written about, a place known to so many people. It’s part of theater too and the actors, stage hands, producers, employees of the theater all need to get paid. But that’s the same case for regional theaters, community theaters, and off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway houses.

So, to try to make the case for why theater is much more than just Broadway, I will be doing a series of four essays. The first one will be about theater in Chicago, the second on theater in Iowa, the third one on off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows, and the fourth one on regional theater.


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