How We Got Here

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Regional theaters have replaced Broadway as the place where American theater meets its audience — in fact, resident non-profit theaters play to more people than go to U.S. pro football games each year. NPR's Bob Mondello outlines the history of the regional theater boom, and how a handful of "resident stages" in 1950 grew to 1,274 today.

The Broadway cast of 'Rent,' which got its start at the New York Theater Workshop

The Broadway cast of Rent, which got its start at the New York Theater Workshop and went on to big box-office success. Bettmann/CORBIS hide caption

itoggle caption Bettmann/CORBIS

Listen: <b>Web Extra:</b> Hear James Earl Jones in a scene from the original stage production of 'The Great White Hope'

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