Much of that changed in 2009 when a friend of Tim, who was in the marketing industry and had a large AV production company asked them to build a set of custom bat cubbies for the New York Yankees. The project was small in scale, but it began our involvement in the “Experiential marketing industry” That project led to building a large O for Oprah when she hosted an event for the NYC Marathon, to building many of the scenic elements involved in the Johnny Walker, House of Walker, and in 2010 resulted in the first larger project where Breakthrough built out all the scenic elements in the Yahoo Fan experience in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics. The original production company started referring Breakthrough for scenic work to their other friends and partners, and from there, things began to grow more steadily.
There was a need for a company that could bring a creative side to the projects, someone who could really understand that need and reflect it in a budget with the proper materials, and someone who understood how all the moving parts and pieces would fit together. Having a theatrical background, they knew the scenery needs to work with the lights, which works with automation, which works with the choreography, etc… It seemed as though too many of the other companies who did fabrication focused either too much on maximizing their profits, wanting to do it their way, or who just couldn’t build on the tight timelines often presented and this is what allowed Breakthrough to find its niche and grow.
The work in experiential specifically grabs the attention of the Breakthrough team not just for the fact that there were more projects than theater, where the shows run for months on end, but they mostly equated it to Theater on steroids. The projects are, most of the time, more immersive than a theatrical set, building out scenes and moments to represent a brand, which requires a high level of creativity and attention to detail. What’s most exciting about the entire industry is that, on some level, it allows us to bring theater to the masses, just in a different way. The general public experiences a brand the same way an audience experiences a drama or musical. The story is the brand; the theater is anywhere in the world. It can be a warehouse transformed into a hotel, a ballroom transformed into a shoe store, or a field/parking lot turned into a giant Beer chalice.
Since the beginning, the company has grown into a team of artists, carpenters, designers, painters, and builders who work on projects of all types. Between the team, we have completed over 100 theatrical projects, multiple 2-5 semi-truck scenic tours, Large scale and small-scale scenic build-outs, corporate theater stages, touring photo kits, multiple pop-up stores, and more custom bars than we can probably count! Our team of designers have one Broadway, and multiple off-Broadway credits, and our team works with multiple creative agencies to help bring the overall project to life, lending our expertise in building to the creative vision of the brand.