×

Theater Exec Michael Barra Launches Stageworks Media

New company will partner with movie studios, music publishers for opportunities in licensing market

Michael Barra, until recently the senior veep of Daryl Roth Theatrical Licensing, has struck out on his own to form Stageworks Media, a new production company that will focus on adapting content for the stage and developing legit-inspired work for multiple platforms including film, TV, digital and publishing.

Stageworks aims to partner with movie studios, music publishers and other large, branded content owners to create stage titles with a focus on the sectors of the licensing market — regional, community, educational — that are not considered “First Class” (i.e. Broadway and other major regional producers and presenters). The new material can then also be farmed for further life in TV, film and other platforms.

“We’re taking a market that’s usually considered downstream or ancillary and making it our primary focus,” said Barra.

The early development slate for Stageworks largely draws its musical scores from new arrangements of familiar pop songs, with storylines and scripts penned by emerging scribes. Among the titles in the works are “Romeo and Juliet and Chuck” and “Cyrano De Burgershack,” both by Jeremy Desmon, as well as “My Super Senior Year” and “Everybody Dance Now” by Marshall Pailet and a girl-power musical by Eric Price.

Stageworks Media also has partnered with creator Cynthia von Buhler to jointly own immersive legit title “Speakeasy Dollhouse.” Under the new pact, the Lower East Side run of the show will move up from monthly to every weekend, with explorations underway for a related outpost at another Manhattan location as well as franchise opportunities on other platforms.

Prior to his gig at Daryl Roth Prods. (where he’ll remain as an advisor), Barra also has had stints at Disney, both with the theatrical arm in New York and with the studio in L.A. He’s also co-artistic director of Off Broadway’s Gotham Stage Company.

The new office of Stageworks Media launches in midtown Manhattan with two people on staff as well as an affiliated music consultant. Barra said he hopes to make Stageworks’ initial slate of properties available for licensing by fall of 2014.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Sam Rockwell and Laurence Fishburne

    Sam Rockwell, Laurence Fishburne Starring in Broadway Revival of 'American Buffalo'

    Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell will star in an upcoming Broadway revival of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo.” The show marks Rockwell’s first appearance on the Great White Way since his 2014 performance in the revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love.” The five-year absence saw him pick up an Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, [...]

  • Secret Derren Brown review

    Broadway Review: 'Derren Brown: Secret'

    Audiences love to be fooled, whether it’s with clever plotting with a twist, the arrival of an unexpected character or even a charming flimflam man with a British accent. The latter is Derren Brown, and he’s entertaining audiences for a limited run at the Cort Theatre, where he is playing head-scratching mind games and other [...]

  • Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica ParkerNew York

    Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker to Reunite on Broadway for 'Plaza Suite'

    Real-life couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are hitting the Broadway stage again for a reboot of the late Neil Simon’s 1968 play “Plaza Suite.” The staging will mark the Broadway directorial debut of Tony award-winner John Benjamin Hickey. Set in New York City’s Plaza Hotel in Suite 719, “Plaza Suite” is comprised of [...]

  • Derren Brown

    Listen: Derren Brown Spills His Broadway 'Secret'

    Derren Brown has spent a lot of his career performing magic shows on theater stages — but he’ll be the first to tell you that magic usually doesn’t make for great theater. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “If you’re a magician of any sort, you can make stuff happen with a click of your [...]

  • A Very Expensive Poison review

    London Theater Review: 'A Very Expensive Poison'

    Vladimir Putin owes his power to the stage. The president’s closest advisor trained as a theatre director before applying his art to politics, and ran Russia like a staged reality, spinning so many fictions that truth itself began to blur. By scrambling the story and sowing confusion, Putin could exert absolute control. The long-awaited latest [...]

  • Betrayal review Tom Hiddleston

    Broadway Review: 'Betrayal' With Tom Hiddleston

    and Zawe Ashton as a long-married couple and Charlie Cox as the secret lover. Director Jamie Lloyd’s impeccable direction — now on Broadway, after a hot-ticket London run — strips Pinter’s 1978 play to its bare bones: the excruciating examination of the slow death of a marriage.  It’s a daring approach, leaving the characters nowhere [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content