This category includes companies engaged in providing live theatrical presentations, including road companies and summer theaters. This industry also includes services associated with theatrical presentations, casting agencies; booking agencies for plays, artists, and concerts; scenery, lighting, and other equipment services; and theatrical ticket agencies. Also included in this industry are producers of live and taped radio programs and commercials and producers of live television programs. Establishments primarily engaged in the production of taped television programs and commercials are classified in SIC 7812: Motion Picture and Video Tape Production. Theaters that are normally rented to theatrical producers and stock companies are classified in SIC 6512: Operators of Nonresidential Buildings. Motion picture theaters and motion picture service industries are classified in the major group for motion pictures. Establishments primarily engaged in operating dinner theaters are classified in SIC 5812: Eating Places.
Employment Placement Agencies
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters
Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers, and Other Public Figures
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar events with Facilities
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events without Facilities
Other Sound Recording Industries
Other Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing
The scope of theater nationwide is so broad and varied that a snapshot of its size, as measured by revenues, does not currently exist. Broadway productions are fairly well documented, while off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions are significantly less documented. Regional touring companies, community theaters, summer stock (where one ensemble performs several plays each season), and their contributing entities, including agencies and scenery design and building, are so fragmented that a comprehensive overall picture is difficult to determine.
New York City, particularly the borough of Manhattan, has always been the undisputed center of the U.S. theater scene. After the records set in the 2000-2001 season, attendance and revenues declined sharply following the terrorist attacks of September 11,2001 and the subsequent drop in tourism. By the mid-2000s, however, attendance was back up, and the final week of 2006 brought the highest attendance and revenue ever in the history of Broadway theater. For the week ending December 31, 2006, total revenues were $29.1 million, and total attendance was 314,310. However, at all levels, the theater industry was also characterized by rising production costs, and not all shows were profitable.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the New York theater district along Broadway kept moving north as new theaters were built and old ones were abandoned or torn down. After World War II, as construction of new theaters became rare, "Broadway" stabilized in an area that can be roughly defined as the section of Broadway between Times Square and 53rd Street. Most of Broadway's 32 theaters are not actually on Broadway but clustered on side streets. Nationwide, 13,667 theatrical producers and services establishments employed over 111,100 people in 2006.
Theater in the United States dates back to the time of the Revolutionary War, which saw the formation of the first professional company in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1752. The company was led by Lewis Hallam and was a profit-sharing venture. This financial structure called upon the actors to pay a percentage of company expenses and to receive a share of the profits. This organizational structure was adopted from Elizabethan England and also existed in the first known company in the Americas, which began in Peru in 1599. The general manager of the company was also generally a leading actor who would invest more and receive a greater share of the profits than the other performers in the company. Playwrights and musicians would also participate in this type of ensemble. Not only did the performers often make a meager living from this arrangement, but they also faced resistance from Quaker and Puritan colonists. However, theaters began to open in the late 1700s and were well established by the beginning of the nineteenth century.
The era of profit-sharing theater companies gave way to one of independent stock companies, a trend which lasted through the 1870s. The independent stock company had a fairly permanent stable of actors and a fixed supply of scenery and props. These companies staged a variety of current works and classics, and either toured or presented shows in a fixed venue. Most actors remained relatively obscure, although audiences made tours of celebrity performers from England popular during this time.
The impetus for the next major change in the structure of theater was the development of the railroad system, which led to the "combination company," which was an ensemble that toured by train from one major city to another, taking with them stagehands, scenery, and the like. Most combination productions were organized in New York, which led to centralization of the American...