One of my favorite things about the Broadway community is the way it can impact
people all around the world. While many theatre fans swarm to New York City or London, there
are Broadway fans in every corner of the earth. Unfortunately, this means that many Broadway
fans are likely to never see a Broadway production.
I didn’t become a theatre fan until the summer after I graduated high school, when I was
fortunate enough to get to take a trip to New York City with my choir. I’m from a small town in
Nebraska, a state where there are more cows than people, so being in the city was a huge culture
change. During the week we were there, we were lucky enough to see two shows on Broadway-
Wicked (with Lilli Cooper as Elphaba, who was the understudy at the time), and Finding
Neverland with the original Broadway cast. After spending a week in the city and seeing my first
ever professional shows, I was hooked.
Over the years, it has often been difficult to be a Broadway fan so far from Broadway.
The theatre community around the world is huge, and I know that I am not the only one who
experiences the frustration of being so far away from something I love. So here, I have created a
list of 10 things that may be familiar to my fellow Broadway fans far from Broadway.
1. Your social media feeds are full of people you’ve never actually met in real life,
although it feels like you know them personally. On more than one occasion I’ve had my
friends ask things like, “Who are all these random people you follow on Instagram?” It
can sometimes be hard to explain that yes, I do follow the social media accounts of all the
actors, understudies, stage managers, musicians, and so on, of all my favorite shows and
tours. I can’t miss any backstage content!
2. You frequently check the schedules of your local community theaters and high
schools to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to see the local talent.
I have seen shows in my tiny Nebraska town that I’ve enjoyed just as much or more than
some of the professional shows and tours that I’ve seen. It’s a great way to experience
something you love while supporting the local art and talented people in your area.
3. You know what advice to give to people travelling to NYC, even if you’ve never been
Recently, my sister and brother-in-law took a vacation to New York with his family.
Before they left, I was able give them my recommendations for which shows to try to see,
where to get the cheapest tickets, what part of the theater to try to sit in, and how to stage
door. And no, I don’t have any idea how I know all this stuff.
4. Part of your budget is set aside purely for theatre-related purchases.
When you live far from Broadway, any chance to collect an object or experience that
makes you feel more connected to the community can be priceless. Whether it’s
Playbills, merchandise, or tickets to touring shows, we do whatever we can to get a little
slice of Broadway in our own cities.
5. You have the perfect trip to NYC or London planned in your head,
and are possibly already saving up to make it happen!
6. You often struggle to find someone to talk about theatre news with you.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve read a headline about a show closing, an actor’s
final performance, or a new collaboration and just wanted to tell someone. It dampens the
excitement when you tell someone one of your favorite actors is stepping into one of your
favorite roles and they respond with, “Who’s that?”
7. You’ve been told to give the aux cord to someone else more than once.
Wait, you don’t want to hear me perform the entirety of a show you’ve never heard of,
with me as every character?
8. You’ve imagined meeting your theater role models,
and you know exactly what you’d say to them if you met them in real life.
9. Tony night is basically a holiday for you.
You mean I get to watch professionally taped live performances of this year’s best
shows? And it’s legal? And free? Grab me some snacks, because I’m not leaving my tv
screen for the next four hours.
10. You know that being far away will never stop your love of theatre.
We know that “distance makes the heart grow fonder” is a true statement. While living
far from the theater hub has its downsides, we know that when we finally get to
experience it for ourselves, we won’t waste a moment. So, for now we will admire from
afar, knowing that someday we will get the chance to be a part of it all