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VenuWorks Dives into Theatrical Producing With National Tour and Broadway Opening

VenuWorks Dives into Theatrical Producing With National Tour and Broadway Opening

VenuWorks, based in Ames, Iowa, has taken the extraordinary step of creating a new subsidiary, and also partnering in the formation of a new company, to produce and co-produce new stage productions for national tour and for Broadway runs.

VenuWorks Theatricals, a wholly owned subsidiary of VenuWorks, is a co-producer of the Broadway revival of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy “You Can’t Take It With You.” The show, which stars James Earl Jones, opened to rave reviews on September 28th at the Longacre Theatre in New York City. The New York Times called the show “one of the most persuasive works of pure escapism in Broadway history” and challenged potential audience members to “try not to wipe the smile off your face when it’s over.”  The show’s run has been extended through February 22.

VenuWorks president Steve Peters said co-producing a Broadway show was the logical progression for the company.  “We were thrilled when Steve Traxler, president of Jam Theatricals, invited us to join them and their other partners in producing the show,” Peters said. “We have been presenting Broadway series in markets across the U.S. with Jam for nearly two decades.  It was a perfect next step for us.”

Earlier in the year, VenuWorks partnered with Minneapolis based Troupe America to form Touring Theatre Associates, LLC, (TTA). That company opened its first show, a totally new production of the Broadway hit musical “Jekyll and Hyde” on September 24th at the VenuWorks-managed Ames Center in Burnsville, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. Troupe America is headed  by Curt Wollan and known for its national tours of such favorites as “The Odd Couple” and “Church Basement Ladies.” The tour was booked by Columbia Artists Management and will play throughout the spring at venues across the country, including six VenuWorks theatres.

Finding shows to bring into middle- to small-market venues is a constant challenge for facility management companies.

Peters said the arrangement helps supply programming for buildings managed by VenuWorks.

“Our base business is managing venues – theatres, arenas, stadiums and convention centers,” he said.  “So, it is critical to our success that we have a pipeline to all sorts of events.

“We work constantly to bring new events and new event providers into that pipeline, by doing such things as creating new theatrical productions, by partnering with national and regional promoters, and creating new industrial events like a Dairy Festival and lifestyle events like our Tattoo Expo.  We are going to new lengths to deliver the quantity, quality and variety of events necessary to fill the fifty plus venues we serve across the country.”

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