Ken Davenport wants to democratize the mostly elite inner circle of Broadway producers, and he’s attempting to stir things up by reaching out to everyone for help in getting a new musical funded through the concept of crowd sourcing. Meaning, he wants you to invest a few bucks in his show.
“So many people have been waiting for this kind of opportunity,” Davenport told me over coffee just before he was set to appear on the Fox Business Network to discuss his new theatrical endeavor. “There are a lot of people around this country that love theatre and now they can have a chance to get involved and support it.”
Davenport Theatrical is reviving the Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell – a feat recently tried and failed by another team – through a crowd-funded business model. He has put a call out to people, including readers of his blog and followers on Twitter, to help raise $5 million through micro-investments of at least $1,000.
This 38-year old Broadway producer believes so much in his idea that he was willing to turn down a trusted investor early on in the process just so he could make room for potentially 5,000 investors that could chip in small amounts to get Godspell on the stage. “I turned down a six-figure check,” Davenport said with a look that acknowledged the potential folly in such a move. “It was a very difficult thing for me to do.”
The Broadway business model, up until now, has traditionally relied on a small group of moneymen to put in sometimes upwards of $1 million in order to fully capitalize a production. Davenport admitted that many of his theatrical peers prefer to limit the number of investors so that they can manage each of their individual needs.