By Jim McCarthy Jun 13, 2012 0 comments

What Ken Davenport Did

I was bummed when Ken Davenport pinged me yesterday to let me know that Godspell is closing later this month.  I’m disappointed for Ken, and it would have been great for that show to continue.  It was a fun, high-energy show with extremely appealing young performers that made it hard not to like if you saw it.  The fact that it’s closing is too bad.

But focusing on this particular show selling well or not selling well is, really and truly, missing the point.  What Ken has done to make this show happen could very well be epoch-making.  By proving that the funding of a Broadway musical can be crowd-sourced, he’s not only created a network of future support for his future projects, but more importantly, he’s demonstrated a new model for how live entertainment content can be created.

This is a model that’s less reliant on the tastes and approval of the monied cultural gatekeepers, some of whom are brilliant and others of whom are…just monied.  Obviously, this has been done in settings other than Broadway through Kickstarter and other platforms, but Ken’s project shows that it can be done on the biggest stages there are.

As Seth Godin would say, Ken did not wait for anyone to give him permission; instead he “picked himself.”

So as melancholy as things might be around the Davenport Theatricals office this morning, I want to say a personal congratulations to Ken and his team.  This is one of those “failures” that could turn out to be spectacular.

Well done.

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