Tax credit impact: Shows ‘tech’ upstate
Schenectady hosts Broadway tour rehearsals before they hit the road
Over the past few seasons, Proctors has become a prime location for “teching” Broadway tours, launching runs of Ghost The Musical; Disney’s Newsies; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, An American in Paris and Something Rotten!
Teching, industry lingo for technical rehearsals, is the process that takes a Broadway property from an idea to an actual event. Weeks prior to the first performance, Proctors becomes a hive of activity, with actors, creatives, crew members and business staff coming together to build sets, plan lighting, adjust costumes, run dance moves and tend to all the busy-ness of making theatre.
This didn’t happen by accident.
In 2014, Proctors CEO Philip Morris, along NAC Entertainment President and CEO Albert Nocciolino and a consortium of other institutions, executives and Broadway business partners spearheaded an effort to “Keep Broadway in New York,” making presenters along the NYS Thruway more attractive to producers readying shows for the road.
The equation put before the state pointed out that Broadway alone generates $11.2 billion in economic activity annually and supports 86,000 jobs. Almost immediately, backers began looking north, and now, only three years later, more shows than ever are teching in upstate New York, each bringing a major economic uptick as those creatives, cast and crew converge on downtown theatres. The 2013 tech of Ghost the Musical, for example, generated an estimated $30 million boost for downtown Schenectady.
The Upstate Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit makes for a meaningful nexus between art and commerce, one that brings the obvious joy of Broadway to communities across the state, but also prompts the power of job creation and retention at hotels, restaurants, transportation companies and the like.
“Broadway is New York,” says Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “The Governor and legislative leaders know Upstate New York needs a variety of tools to effectively grow, and one of those tools is Upstate Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit.”