We can go back at least to the early Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center productions in 1963-1964
Posted by: AlanScott 05:25 pm EDT 05/26/23
In reply to: Was Roundabout the first "non-profit" to produce Broadway productions? - aleck 09:21 am EDT 05/26/23

The Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center and the APA-Phoenix both started producing on Broadway in the 1965-1966 season. The Tonys did not consider Repertory Theater productions eligible. After two seasons of allowing the APA-Phoenix productions, which played the Lyceum, to be eligible, the Tonys removed them from eligibility.

When Papp took over at the Beaumont, he got the Tonys to consider Beaumont productions eligible. The season before that, the Phoenix, producing on its own, produced on Broadway, and those productions were considered eligible for the Tonys. But then we can go back to 1971-1972 to find NYSF productions on Broadway — Sticks and Bones, Two Gentlemen of Verona — that were also eligible for the Tonys, if we even consider eligibility for the Tonys to be a determinative factor here.

But when the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center produced two seasons before the Beaumont at the temporary downtown ANTA Washington Square (with a seating capacity of approximately 1,100), those were generally considered Broadway. It's a bit unclear whether the Tonys considered those productions eligible in 1963-1964 as none of the company's productions received any nominations, but the following season the company itself was nominated as best producer of a play for the company's Tartuffe.

Circle in the Square first produced on Broadway in 1968-1969, before it had its own Broadway theatre, which started in 1972. That production of Circle in the Square's, Morning, Noon and Night, received two Tony nominations.

The question of whether City Center productions, which did get nominated for Tonys, should be considered is at least somewhat complicated, including by the fact that it's not clear when City Center became a nonprofit. It may have always been one, but I'm not sure. I think nonprofit status for performing arts organizations may not have been an option when City Center started producing, but I'm not sure.

Putting City Center to the side, we can go back to at least 1963-1964 with the first Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center productions.

Previous: Was Roundabout the first "non-profit" to produce Broadway productions? - aleck 09:21 am EDT 05/26/23
Next: I think we can go back earlier - AlanScott 03:50 pm EDT 05/27/23

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