Apr 10, 2019

Exclusive: Broadway tech incubator takes the stage

Photo: The Shubert Organization

The live theater industry is looking for ways that technology can help bring the business of Broadway into the modern era. Enter stage left: The Broadway Tech Accelerator, a new effort backed by theater giant The Shubert Organization and Exponential Creativity Ventures.

Why it matters: Live theater, like other entertainment industries are trying to embrace technology in their work while also mindful of technologies that might make their core businesses less popular or valuable.

Bigger picture: Broadway is behind other live events businesses when it comes to embracing technology, Shubert digital project director Kyle Wright told Axios.

"Sports has always been fantastic at this," Wright said. "Broadway and performance arts are behind."

Details:

  • Applications are being solicited now, with the first cohort of four companies set to begin a 12-week program in June.
  • The first two weeks and last two weeks will be in New York, with the remaining weeks being done remotely.
  • The selected companies will get to take part in the program, receive an equity investment as well as an opportunity to pilot their technology within Shubert, if feasible.

Bottom line: The goal is threefold, Wright said, to use technology to help broaden the diversity of voices that find their way onto the stage, to keep the theater industry relevant so people want to keep seeing live events and to make sure the industry remains relevant a decade from now.

"Innovation and technology are a huge piece of how we attract talent to help solve these problems," he said.

Go deeper

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Clyburn: Sanders' "socialist" label will be "extra burden" in House races

Jim Clyburn with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders' identification as a democratic socialist may be an "extra burden" in down-ballot House races if he were to win the Democratic nomination.

Why it matters: Clyburn's comments echo fears from many establishment Democrats, who worry the House majority they won in 2018 by taking moderate seats carried by President Trump could be at risk with Sanders at the top of the ticket.