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More than just a talkback: why Broadway is embracing post-show programming

Kevin McCollum of "SIX," Diana DiMenna of "Here Lies Love," Jonathan McCrory of National Black Theatre and more share their reasoning behind auxiliary programming — and the results.

Fatboy Slim, co-composer of “Here Lies Love,“ DJs a post-show dance party at the Broadway Theatre (Credit: Lawrence Sumulong)

If you bought a ticket to a Broadway show this season, chances are you got more than the show. Maybe it was a post-curtain DJ dance party at “Here Lies Love.” It could have been a starry onstage discussion at “Purlie Victorious” or an Africa Night party after a performance of “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding.” Over at “SIX” there’s a new monthly series of giveaways and activities.

Talkbacks and post-show events have always been a part of Broadway, especially at institutional theaters. But this season, the programming around productions has become more prevalent and ambitious than ever, expanding beyond the nonprofit world to commercial titles. Taken together, these initiatives raise the question: Is the show not enough anymore?

Producers agree that attention-grabbing, “added value” programming is more necessary than ever. But their strategies and reasoning driving such events — ranging from financial to cultural to downright existential — are as varied as their individual shows.

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