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How We Got Here

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.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.