TDF puts its support where its mission is: in providing subsidy support for artistically adventurous or meritorious Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. The projects TDF chooses to support this way often enjoy little advance sale, even with favorable reviews, and require time to find an audience. TDF's subsidy helps keep shows running while word-of-mouth builds.
After a project has been reviewed and approved by a play-reading committee, TDF agrees to purchase 300 to 6,000 tickets during the first eight weeks of the show's run and offer them to TDF's membership of more than 80,000 enthusiastic theatregoers.
For Broadway shows, TDF pays $42 a ticket for plays, $46 for musicals, and offers them to TDF members for $33 and $37, respectively. The $9 per-ticket difference constitutes TDF's subsidy.
For Off Broadway shows, the subsidy is similar: TDF pays $32 per ticket for a play, $34 per ticket for a musical and sells them to members for $26 and $28, respectively.
In return for this support, productions are asked to acknowledge the TDF subsidy on the title page of the program. They must also repay 5 percent of any profit after recoupment, until the full amount of the subsidy is repaid.
TDF will only consider subsidizing productions with a firm booking of two months' minimum in a proper Broadway or Off Broadway theatre (with a minimum seating capacity of 199).
The per-ticket subsidy is similar for dance companies. When TDF contracts to buy up to 6,000 tickets to performances of companies approved by the TDF Dance Selection Committee for seasons in New York City, TDF then offers tickets to members at $21 (for dance engagements of at least one week in houses with 199-499 seats and tickets with a $39 minimum face value) or $29 (for engagements of at least one week in houses with 500 or more seats and tickets with $41 minimum face value), and pays companies $30 and $36, respectively.
How to Apply
Bona fide producers or managers (sorry, no playwrights or agents) may apply to TDF at least eight weeks before the first performance date.
To be considered, please submit the following:
(1) a cover letter including the producing entity (LLC, LP, etc.) and producers' names
(2) six copies of the script (please indicate if you require that these copies be returned)
(3) for musicals or dance performances, include six CDs
This material is reviewed by selected consultants and members of the TDF Board of Trustees, who then make a recommendation to the full board.
Material should be sent to:
Theatre Development Fund
Attn: Julian Christenberry
520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 801
New York, NY 10018