In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced all theatres to go dark, leaving an entire industry without work and without a certain future. It is in this moment of darkness that the idea of Open Broadway Data is born.
The idea was simple: make historical Broadway data available so that it can be used to solve the industry’s present issues.
We partnered with the Black Theatre Coalition who wanted to use such data to identify disparities in theatre demographics.
Our team got busy designing and prototyping a solution. By July that year (5 months later), we had an MVP (minimum viable product) and began conducting UX (user experience) workshops to better improve our platform.
By winter of 2021, (~12 months after the project started), our partners at BTC were able to use our data platform to present undeniable evidence of significant racial disparities within Broadway.
🎉 Using this data as an argument for change, they were able to secure over 30 fully-paid apprenticeships for black theatre professionals.
Our technical requirments for a secure and hardened data platform are sophisticated – engineering talent for such work is unfortunately in low supply. As the volume of our sensitive data increased, our team made the difficult decision that it would be irresponsible to continue serving our data platform, without further security enhancements.
In March 2022 (roughly 2 years after the project started), we took our servers offline and officially archived the platform.
You can still access most of this project’s data (except demographic data), through the Data section of this archive site. Do keep in mind that this data is no longer updated or maintained.
😢 It is here that this narrative concludes, at least for now.
If you would like to see this project have a 2nd life, reach out and we’ll see if we have enough momentum to proceed.