By Carol-Ann Rudy The League of American Theatres and Producers this week announced it changed its name to The Broadway League. The rationale was...

By Carol-Ann Rudy

The League of American Theatres and Producers this week announced it changed its name to The Broadway League. The rationale was that the name would better represent its membership, which includes producers and theatre managers, but also general managers and other theatre professionals. Officials began the name change process immediately and expect it to take several months to complete.

In a statement by Charlotte St. Martin, the league’s executive director, on the group’s website said, “As Broadway has a main street named after it in over 25 cities (that we know of), and as we have a Broadway series in over 150 cities, it is clear that Broadway really is the longest street in America … making our new name even more appropriate across the country.”

In spite of all the other main-street Broadways and series in the country, the 39 theatres on New York’s Broadway hold artistic sway and is a major tourist attraction. The 600-plus members of the League bring Broadway productions to more than 30 million people in NYC and more than 240 cities in the U.S. and Canada. The League was formed in 1930 as a tool for producers and management to work with theatrical unions and guilds to promote their joint interests. In subsequent years, the League expanded its role to include not only the needs of producers in NYC, but also national touring shows and presenters in cities throughout North America. The League promotes Broadway to the nation through a wide variety of programs and special events, marketing initiatives, and corporate sponsorships. It promotes ways to make Broadway tickets and information easily available to the theater-goer.

In addition to these services, the League also maintains research archives and databases, designs audience development programs, and supports charitable efforts benefiting the theatrical community, such as “Broadway Delivers.” Under the program, companies can bring live Broadway entertainment to corporate functions, such as annual meetings, conventions, conferences, product launches, store openings, and so on. The company receives a tax deduction for making a charitable contribution to the “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS” charity effort while providing top-quality entertainment in support of their efforts. “Broadway Delivers” tailors entertainment ranging from 15-30 minute revues of Broadway numbers to celebrity appearances.

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