Before I get into theatres around the world I wanted to point out the difference between a Broadway Theatre and an Off Broadway Theatre.
Broadway Theatres tend to show the more mainstream commercial performances. The theatres themselves tend to have no less than 500 seats.
Off Broadway Theatres, as well as the category of Off Off Broadway, tend to have no less than 100 seats but no more than 499. Off Off Broadway Theatres usually have under 100 seats. The shows that are shown here tend to be mostly non profit performances.
Broadway Theatres can be found all over the globe, but the most famous are those on New York City’s Broadway. This street runs from North to South across all of Manhattan and is one of the oldest streets to be found in the city. This several mile long street holds many renowned sites. However, there is one small strip that often comes to mind when Broadway is mentioned, the area between 42nd street and 53rd street. This strip is known as he home of the theatre industry of America and is set out as the Theatre District, or “The Great White Way”. It got this nickname originally because it was one of the first strips in America to be fitted with electric lighting. The nickname stuck due to the millions of lights found along Broadway’s billboards and marquees that light the night sky up.
The Theatre District itself is home to about 40 of the largest professional theatres that hold an ever changing variety of shows that includes musicals and plays. It is widely believed that the productions found on New York’s Broadway are the best in the world and attract millions of visitors every year.
Many Broadway shows tend to run for years, as long as they continue to draw in patrons both new and old. The Phantom of the Opera is the longest running show in the history of Broadway productions, having opened for the first time in 1988. The show is still running to date and has performed over 9,500 shows. It also recieved the Best Musical award at the 1988 Tony Awards ceremony.
Special theatres from across the globe
While New York hosts many famous theatres, there are other wonderful and unique theatres to see around the world. Here are a few examples:
Austria’s “The Seebuhne on Lake Constance – The theatre is actually a floating stage that holds 7,000 seats. It is set-up on Lake Constance’s shoreline and has created some phenomenal stage designs that appear to be rising from the waters. It is generally used for larger scaled musical and opera performances that are run during the area’s Bregenz Festival.
England’s “Shakespeare Globe” in London – This theatre is actually a reconstruction of the famous Globe Theatre playhouse that existed during the Elizabethan era and was constructed in 1599. However, a fire destroyed the theatre in 1613. It was then rebuilt a year later only to be demolished again in 1644. It wasn’t until 1997 that the newly reconstructed theatre became open to the public.
Greece’s “Odeon of Herodes Atticus” in Athens – This theatre sits on the southern slopes of the well known Acropolis and construction was finished on the theatre in 174 AD. Athens has been running a festival for over the past 52 years and the Herodeon has played a part in the festivities, hosting a variety of dance, music and theatrical performances.
Australia’s “Sydney Opera House” in Sydney – Sydney’s Opera House is renowned as one of the world’s most famous landmarks. Designed by Danish architect, JornUtzon, the theatre first opened its doors in 1973 with several venues for performances being able to run at the same time. It is also the busiest of the performing arts sectors across the globe, hosting more than 1,500 shows every year and bringing in around 1.2 million people.
These are but a few of the hundreds of performing arts theatres that can be found across the globe.