How “Hamilton” stayed alive during the pandemic: An interview with producer Jeffrey Seller

“I’m looking at theater over the course of the next generation. And ensuring that theater is accessible to the many, not just the few.”

Interview by Anna Bernasek

“What would you do if your business had to shut down for a year and a half? Would you feel helpless while you waited, wondering what would come next?

In this episode of the McKinsey Global Institute’s Forward Thinking podcast, co-host Anna Bernasek speaks with Jeffrey Seller, producer of Broadway hits HamiltonIn the HeightsRent, and more, about the tumultuous year-plus that Broadway and live performances have endured.

Ahead of Broadway reopening in September and live performances coming back across the United States and other countries, the man is nonstop. Seller took us inside the room where it happened, sharing his experiences and thoughts, including:

  • How he shut down, pivoted, then staged a production in Australia during the pandemic

  • How digital streaming services like Disney+ and Spotify affected demand for performance tickets

  • Why he created an affordable ticket lottery to increase access to the magic of live, in-person performances

  • Why he’s still an optimist, but one who’s focused on resilience”

Source: McKinsey Global Institute’s Forward Thinking podcast