By Melissa Frederick

WASHINGTON (Map, News) – With a focus on staging long runs of Broadway tours, and a budget driven by ticket sales rather than grants or donations, The National Theatre’s unique identity among D.C. playhouses awards it some challenges.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals

Founded in 1835, the National has the longest-running continuous business operation of any theater in the country.

But because of a lack of successful touring productions coming out of New York this year, it is dark from late March through October, Executive Director Donn Murphy said. . .

The National saw successes and disappointments this season, Murphy said. “Spamalot” was a smash, but its Joan Collins and Linda Evans vehicle “Legends”, and “Doubt,” a nonmusical Broadway play featuring its original star, didn’t drive ticket sales.

“The theater is about the musical,” Chief Executive Officer Donald Vaccaro said. “Very rarely will a play, even a star-driven play in New York, be a hot ticket.” . . . (Full Story)