Friday, November 17, 2023

Book Review: How Broadway Works

What an audience sees is what is presented on stage: the actors, lights, orchestra, musicians, and sometimes stagehands. What they don’t see is backstage, where many theater professionals collaborate to bring the production to an audience. The most visible career in a production is acting, but not everyone can act or even wishes to be in the spotlight, but still yearns to be part of the theater world. There are several jobs in the theater community where their talents may fit.

Theater professional Sharon Grace Powers highlights the positions behind the curtain that work together to put on a show. She focuses on an area of theater production on Broadway, including what the job is, what the job requirements are, what an artist’s process is, and how that specific job is integrated into the fabric of a show’s production.

How Broadway Works will be published December 15, 2023. Applause Books, an imprint of Globe Pequot, provided an early galley for review.

I was never a "theater kid" in school, but I always enjoyed taking in performances as a member of the audience. The cover of this one caught my attention, encouraging me to check it out and find out more of what goes on behind the scenes of productions. And, boy, did I ever learn a lot!

Powers breaks everything down in a very organized manner. Starting with the general and production managers and working her way through props, costumes and wardrobe, and then through lighting and sound, she makes it very clear who does what and how when it comes to mounting a Broadway show. Anyone looking for a career in the theatre outside of being on-stage will find what she has to say to be very valuable.

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