Spotlight On… Sarah Weiss, the Kings Theatre’s Queen of Marketing
As a teenager Sarah Weiss had a “love for listening to and playing music, [which] got me interested in concerts,” she tells Brooklyn Roads. Early on she decided that her role in the music business would be a behind-the-scenes one.
At NYU, Weiss signed up for The Program Board, the events committee that puts on the concerts, lectures and film series for the students. “I also found internships related to music and concerts, and often used music as my topic for my journalism assignments,” she says. One such internship found her working with promoters for a concert venue, which led her to pursue a career in marketing such events.
She joined the booking team at Bowery Presents in 2004 and three years later became head of event marketing. While there, Weiss developed relationships with the Kings Theatre. After she left Bowery Presents, she told Brooklyn Roads that “I was at Bowery Presents when the Theatre re-opened and kept up the relationship with the teams after I left Bowery”. In November of 2016, she was hired as the theatre’s Director of Marketing.
“The first event I worked on after I started there was [Swedish rockers] Ghost on November 12, 2016,” Weiss recalls fondly.
Since its rebirth, the Kings Theatre has hosted performers from a great variety of musical genres, as well as Broadway-style musicals and even the Moscow Ballet. Brooklyn Roads has been on hand for several Kings Theatre concerts, most recently Americana artists Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, R&B singer Ashanti with rapper Ja Rule, and rockers Evanescence. Upcoming shows include Lazarus, Beach House and David Byrne. “Kings is also a sponsor of Little Cinema’s immersive film series at Brooklyn Museum as part of the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibit,” she says.
This all dovetails nicely with Weiss’ own eclectic musical tastes. “I grew up on Top 40, then hard rock, heavy metal and grunge in the ’80s and ’90s, with a lot of musicals and church choir in the mix,” she says.
Weiss tells us that she is pleased with how the local Brooklyn community has responded to having the Kings Theatre in their neighborhood. “We’re really fortunate to continue to receive so much love from our immediate neighbors and the borough of Brooklyn as a whole. It all goes to confirm that spreading love really is the Brooklyn way.” That said, she feels she still has work to do on this front as marketing director.
“Kings has brought artists and patrons from all over the world to see our concerts, but some of our immediate neighbors haven’t seen the restored space yet,” Weiss tells Brooklyn Roads. “We’re constantly working on getting the message out that the theatre is not just restored as an historical building, but is also an operating performing arts venue hosting concerts, comedy, family and film events and more on a regular basis.”
Among new initiatives at the theatre, “We recently launched a series of boxing events in association with Evander Holyfield’s The Real Deal Boxing that will showcase up-and-coming fighters from New York City – especially Brooklyn,” she says.