Since the COVID-19 pandemic first wreaked havoc in 2020, rebuilding the entertainment industry has been incredibly difficult. With movie audiences down and the theater world struggling, longtime Upper West Sider Steven Schragis saw a gap in the market and launched Thoughtful Productions, an inventive company geared towards surprising and delighting consumers. Keep reading for the scoop and how to get in on the action — right on the UWS!
If you’re a local who enjoys events, you may be familiar with Schragis’ former company, One Day University. Though it operated in 61 cities across the country, many of its offerings were on the UWS. Focused on education (“Don’t you wish you could be back in college — well, now you can but, but without exams or homework!” was its tagline), ODU built up a loyal following, and after selling to a public company in 2021, Schragis realized the biggest takeaway was that people love to have fun. It may seem obvious, but that’s precisely the ethos behind Thoughtful Productions.
By partnering with performing arts centers and film venues around the country, Thoughtful Productions is able to put entertainment at the forefront and provide innovative programming — something we can all use more of right now. At the moment, there are nine events in their portfolio, including Movies 101: What Makes Great Films So Great, Memorable Musicals That Changed Broadway and Rock 101: The Music and Stories and Ten Classic Songs (more on that shortly). Featuring savvy, sharp narrators, captivating video content and even phenomenal live music, Thoughtful Productions’ programming is a full-fledged multimedia experience bound to inspire any lucky audience member.
Interested in seeing what the excitement is all about? Conveniently, Rock 101: The Music and Stories and Ten Classic Songs will arrive on the UWS at Merkin Hall in the Kaufman Music Center (129 West 67th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue) on Thursday, November 16 at 7 p.m.
Fresh from a successful run at the Woodstock Playhouse in the Hudson Valley, the fast-packed 90 minute show features a renowned music historian, an energetic presentation and an all-star band of top musicians playing the classics. Songs covered include Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles, Respect by Aretha Franklin, Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, plus five more iconic classics. Tickets are available for $49 and can be purchased here.
As industries adapt to the chaos of the last few years, it’s clear that Schragis and Thoughtful Productions have found a niche. Not only are they helping reboot the entertainment industry, they’re also offering theaters and other spaces a unique opportunity to showcase new content viewers won’t see anywhere else.
More information about Thoughtful Productions is available here.