Built by an incalculable number of artists, performers, producers, and craftspeople, Broadway has become an indelible American institution. The Museum’s Timeline will take you on a journey through its rich, storied, and often complicated history, highlighting more than 600 individual people and productions that shaped the past, inform the present, and point us toward the future. In specific years along the way, the Timeline will further offer original, immersive exhibits focusing on just a few of the many landmark shows produced on Broadway.
Today, “Broadway” is associated almost exclusively with the legitimate stage (i.e. plays and musicals). But, when the term originally took root in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it encompassed multiple stage forms. “Broadway” ultimately began to narrow in the 1930s. And, by the 1980s, it signified only a select number of legitimate playhouses, each of which was located within a clearly defined quadrant around Times Square and outfitted with more than 499 seats. These strict parameters remain central to the present definition of Broadway, which continues to present some of the finest plays and musicals written for the stage.
(Note: Audio on this tour is generated from the text displayed in the app only.)