The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Off-Broadway plays or musicals are performed in New York City in smaller theatres than Broadway, but larger than Off-Off-Broadway, productions.

Off-Broadway theatres are those with 100 to 400 seats, offering less commercial productions than Broadway—often experimental. Generally the shows are less expensive, less publicized, less well-known and feature less-famous performers. The smaller scale also often allows more experimental, challenging work to be presented. Many off-Broadway groups are non-profits rather than commercial producers, meaning that they can more easily afford to take chances on plays which might not be commercial hits; however, they still have to ensure enough interest in their plays to have a large enough subscriber base to keep them financially sound.

The classification of theatres is governed by language in Actors' Equity contracts, rather than by whether the theatre has a Broadway address.

It is not unknown for successful Off-Broadway shows to later have a Broadway run—for instance, the musicals Avenue Q, Rent, Hair, and Little Shop of Horrors and the plays Doubt and I Am My Own Wife were initially shown in New York Off-Broadway.

Notable Off-Broadway Theatres: Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theatre , Manhattanan Theatre Club .

Last updated: 05-07-2005 16:52:17
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04