NEW YORK—Broadway saw its biggest box office ever this past year.
You may say it’s the lineup of shows that’s caught the eyes of theatergoers, but there’s also a smart woman behind the curtain, running it all.
"We’ve grown Broadway theatergoers by over a million theatergoers in the last ten years," Charlotte St. Martin said.
Charlotte St. Martin is President of The Broadway League, the trade association that represents commercial theater owners, producers and managers in New York City and around the U.S..
"I know that today we’ve never needed anything more than we need escape and live theater gives you a perfect escape," St. Martin commented.
St. Martin says one of her biggest goals over the past decade has been to make Broadway accessible to everyone.
"Whether its Viva Broadway, which is designed to attract more latino and hispanic audiences. Things like Broadway Bridges. Our goal is to make sure every New York City high school student sees a Broadway show before they graduate," St. Martin explained.
This January, The League also launched new closed captioning devices. They’ll be in all theaters by the summer, making shows that work for the hearing impaired.
And while box offices are booming, St. Martin says it’s been a challenge to manage Broadway’s growth because of fraudulent ticket brokers.
Still, she’s most proud of the fact that more and more New Yorkers are sitting in the theater seats.
"There's literally something for everyone . When I first heard about "The Band’s Visit," for example, I thought I don’t know if that’s going to be one of my favorites. Well, it touched my heart. Three days later I went to see "Spongebob Squarepants" which is more color on a stage and larger than life," St. Martin said.
And then there’s the Tony Awards coming up this June.
"We don’t share any of our secrets this early, but it’s a heck of a season," St. Martin said.
So what’s Charlotte’s favorite show this season?
"It's very difficult for me to single out shows, because I love all my children. I used to see 25-30 shows a year as a theatergoer. Now I see 45-60 shows. It's the hard part of my job, let me say that," she laughed.