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Economics Students to Learn about Business Side of Broadway

Bethlehem, Pa., April 28, 2009—A group of students from Moravian College will learn about the “The Business Side of Broadway” when they travel to New York City to see the show In The Heights on Thursday, April 30. The producers of the 2008 Tony-award winning best musical will meet with the students prior to the show to discuss the business aspects of producing, managing, and operating a Broadway show. After seeing the  show, the students will meet with members of the cast who will answer questions during a cast “talkback.”

The Economics & Business Department at Moravian College began taking students to New York in 1993 to learn “The Business Side of Broadway,” starting with Phantom of the Opera. Last year, students met with the producers and cast of Rent

“The program provides students with a unique out of classroom experience in a fun context,” said Santo Marabella, professor of management.  “But at the same time they’re applying theory to the practice, and getting a first-hand look behind the scenes at an unorthodox business model.  The trip is especially insightful for the students in my Arts & Entertainment Production Management class—many who say it’s one of their favorite value-added field experiences.”

Breig Berney, company manager from The Producing Office, will discuss the marketing, finance, and operations side of the business. “Broadway and the arts in general, need to generate revenue to keep their operations going—like every other business,” Marabella noted.  “They need to keep costs down and effectively market their products to fill the seats.”

Kevin McCollum and Jeffrey Seller co-founded The Producing Office in 1995. It has produced Irving Berlin’s White Christmas(2004); Avenue Q (2004) and In the Heights (2008),both winners of the Tony Award® for Best Musical. Their other productions include Rent, the 1996 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical; the off-Broadway hit De La Guarda; Baz Luhrmann’s Broadway production of Puccini’s La Bohème; Broadway’s High Fidelity; and the current upcoming revival of West Side Story.

In The Heights played its first Broadway performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on February 14, 2008 and celebrated its Opening Night on March 9, 2008. For more information, visit http://www.intheheightsthemusical.com/.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America’s sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at http://www.moravian.edu/.