Broadway ditches heavy production books for iPads


A look at the ProductionPro app in use.
Photo: ProductionPro

Broadway producers are ditching the heavy, 10-pound production books they currently use for shows in favor of iPads. These books contain details — swapped out for each new production — about script and choreography changes in Broadway musicals.

Instead of these heavy books, producers on Pretty Woman: The Musical, Kinky Boots and other shows are increasingly relying on the considerably lighter iPad — complete with the app ProductionPro and an Apple Pencil for scribbling notes.

Doing so saves on paper, as well as streamlining the entire process. As a report from CNN notes:

“For last minute changes, productions like Pretty Woman are not only saving time but cutting down a significant amount of paper waste. Production associates typically sprint to copy machines to give the cast and crew a look at what’s new. (On average, the show changed about 30 pages a day during its 12-week pre-production period — and about 50 people received those copies daily). But [the producer or director] now pushes the update to anyone who’s been given a ProductionPro log-in.”

ProductionPro is a subscription-based production management app created by former Broadway stage manager Alex Libby. It offers three pricing tiers, ranging from $199 per production up to $2,500 a month for the most extensive options.

Making a saving

This isn’t the first time the iPad has been used to replace heavy physical books in various industries.

One notable early adopter was United Airlines, which distributed 11,000 iPads to its pilots in 2011 as a replacement for the weighty flight bags carried by pilots. The estimated weight difference between an iPad and a 40-pound flight bag reportedly saved United 326,000 gallons of jet fuel per year.

While we doubt that such significant savings will be made by using iPads for Broadway musicals, this is still a great example of how Apple technology can be used to streamline processes. And save on a whole lot of photocopying in the process!

Source: CNN