We understand that many in the theatre industry have concerns over making theatre available on screen. We hope to address some of those concerns here.
What is filmed theatre?
Filmed theatre is comprised of stage shows that have been legally filmed (whether for commercial distribution or archival purposes), and digital theatre productions.
Will streaming, or making theatre available on screen, affect ticket sales?
In the case of Broadway, the shows that have been filmed for commercial release have been filmed and made available on screen (television, cinema, or the internet) at the end of their run, or after the show has closed. Where shows have remained open, such as Legally Blonde, Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables, ticket sales saw a slight increase after live broadcasts. A slight increase in ticket sales were also seen when movie versions of the stage show were released during a show's run, such as for Hairspray or Chicago.
As demonstrated by Legally Blonde, filmed versions of a show increase the visibility and awareness of its brand, boosting ticket sales for tours and increasing licensing opportunities.
Why are you pushing this? Filmed theatre is not the same as the live in-person experience!
We agree! However, filmed theatre can be a complementary addition to the in-person experience that allows for brand building, archiving, education, creating additional revenue, and most importantly access for audiences who for a variety of reasons, such as geography, finances, physical ability, childcare, health concerns, and others, cannot attend in person.
Filming is expensive and our theatre/production can't afford it. How can we participate?
We understand that there are several institutional barriers currently in place that make filming prohibitive such as complex union agreements, licensing arrangements, and models for streaming that benefit the streaming the platform and not the show creatives and artists. We hope to shift industry perceptions of filmed theatre to break down these barriers and make filming theatre more affordable and readily available.
Do you have evidence that filming theatre is good for theatre?
So glad you asked, indeed we do! You can learn more in our Case Studies section.