Off-Broadway plays occur in New York City. The major difference between a "Broadway" and "Off-Broadway" play is the seating capacity of the theater. Off-Broadway plays tend to be hosted in smaller venues, seating anywhere between 100 and 499 audience members, while Broadway theaters seat much larger audiences.
Like Broadway shows, these performances can span various genres, including plays, one-person shows, or musicals. Many Off-Broadway plays have won awards from the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Outer Circle Critics Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Obie Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, and the Drama League Award.
The term "Off-Broadway" originally referred to the location of a venue on a street that intersected Broadway. These venues were "off" Broadway, the street; a theater wasn't classified as Off-Broadway if it was technically within the "Broadway Box," anywhere from 40th to 54th streets, and from west of Sixth Avenue to east of Eighth Avenue. The term was later redefined by the League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers to the definition we know today.
But "Off-Broadway" was more than just the indication of where a theater was located; it was a movement. It started in the 1950s as a reaction to the commercialism of Broadway. These Off-Broadway shows were intended to create a new outlet for artists, playwrights, and the like — away from the lights and pressures of of The Great White Way. The first Off-Broadway show opened in 1954. Since then, Off-Broadway hits have included musicals like Godspell, Sunday in the Park with George, Grey Gardens, and Urinetown, as well as plays such as Doubt, The Normal Heart, and I Am My Own Wife.
Some of the most popular Off-Broadway plays have gone on to become memorable Broadway hits, including Hair, Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, Avenue Q, and Rock of Ages. Find all your Off-Broadway ticketing needs at TicketNetwork!