Category: Arts & Entertainment

What Do Off-Broadway and Broadway Mean?

What Do Off-Broadway and Broadway Mean?

If you are not part of the theatre crowd, you may feel some confusion about the terms used to describe theatre productions. Broadway and off-Broadway are terms that distinguish types of theatre performances, but they may not mean what you think.

Nothing To Do With the Street

Because most people associate theatre productions with New York City. In NYC, many theatres used to be on a street with the name of Broadway. This brings about confusion when people hear the terms Broadway and off-Broadway because they think there is an association with the street. Therefore, they assume that Broadway shows are located on the street while off-Broadway shows are off the street.

However, this is not true. If you read off Broadway reviews and Broadway reviews you will see the theatres where these shows occur are all over the city.

The True Definition

The real meaning behind the term Broadway, according to Playbill, is any theatre that has 500 or more seats. Off-Broadway is the term to distinguish any theatre with 100 to 499 seats. Those theatres with less than 100 seats, fall into the category of off-off-Broadway.

Geography Does Play a Role

As you know, a theatre does not have to be on Broadway to be a Broadway theatre, but it does have to be in the immediate area surrounding the street, which has the name of the Broadway District. So, you cannot have a Broadway theatre in Nebraska, for example. For off-Broadway shows, the theatres need to be within NYC. Again, you cannot have an off-Broadway theatre outside of New York.

See a Show

This guide to what constitutes Broadway and off-Broadway will be helpful if you want to take in a show while in the city. The terms give you some general idea of the location of a theatre is, so you can more easily find it, and let you know the capacity. … Read More..