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Thomas Schumacher, the president of the Disney Theatrical Group, slammed the pretentious way some in the theatrical community look at more mainstream shows and scoffed at their disdain for making the audience experience more fun.

“Populism has its own manifest destiny and we need to embrace that,” said Schumacher, who called for a big tent of theatrical options on Broadway and especially shows for children who will return as adults. “What I ask you to do is embrace this audience and maybe even embrace the sippy cup.”

Terry Teachout, drama critic at The Wall Street Journal, soberly pointed out that 75 percent of all Broadway shows fail and then asked that more producers roll the dice on quality.

“If you can’t count on getting rich, then forget playing it safe. Why not take a shot at being great?” he asked. “If there’s ever a time for you to shoot high, this is it. Don’t start out settling for safe. Gamble on great.”

Kristoffer Diaz, the playwright of the Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” urged producers to embrace different voices, as they did with “In the Heights” and “Rent.”

“Women, writers of color, transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual _ we need to keep hearing these stories. We need to hear them on Broadway,” he said. “It becomes a lot harder to dismiss somebody out of hand if you’ve spent a couple of hours investing in their story.”

Two speakers with specialty knowledge outside Broadway urged the community to not just focus on putting on a great show.

Susan Reilly Salgado, who has worked with famed restaurant owner Danny Meyer, said his success is not only about creating tasty dishes. Meyer, she said, makes the whole evening fun.

“To say that, in a restaurant, it’s all about the food discounts everyone else who touches the customer experience,” she said. “The best way to get people to come back to you over and over is to create an all-encompassing experience.”

Erin Hoover, the vice president of design for Westin and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, said Broadway theaters could take a page out of the innovations brought to hotel lobbies, which are now comfortable, inviting and offer new sources of revenue. “The experience for the show really starts at the door.”

Customer service was also a theme touched on by Zachary A. Schmahl, an actor-turned-baker who created Schmackary’s Cookies in his apartment and has watched it grow into a thriving business.

“Customer service is something that people are missing in New York,” he said. “It’s so important in our single-serving culture to be that business that has a heart and a soul alongside a quality product.”

One returning speaker was Vincent Gassetto, the principal of a high-performing public middle school in a tough area of the Bronx, who urged those in attendance to make sure Broadway was on the radar of his best and brightest students.

“It’s in everybody in this room’s best interest that they have an awareness of this industry or we’re never going to win that talent war,” he said. “We’re all going to be competing for them.”

Though the speakers came from different backgrounds and emphasized different prescriptions, they did seem to agree with Daryl Roth, the Pulitzer Prize-winning producer of seven plays, including “Clybourne Park.” She challenged the crowd to think of Broadway in more than just dollars and cents.

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