Dear TheatreNerds Community,
I really appreciated Katelynn Johnson’s recent article, “A Call For More Film Recordings of Broadway Shows”.
In point of fact, it’s something I’ve been working on with my partners for the last two years. It’s something I’m very passionate about. I absolutely believe that my partners and I are on the verge of discovering a new way to watch and develop musicals.
I come at this perspective as both a writer of musicals and also as a consumer. And this new idea appeals to me on both levels.
As someone who’s been lucky enough to work on Broadway and in some of the best regional theaters in the country, I am extremely grateful for live theatre. I’m grateful for the actors, the artists and the musicians I’ve worked with over the years who have put so much love and labor into their art. But I’ve also seen our work essentially disappear when a show is over and I’ve seen artists struggle. Not to mention, the cost of developing new work for artists like me, and others, can be challenging.
But in 2015, when Ken Davenport innovatively decided to live-stream my Off-Broadway musical, DADDY LONG LEGS, (co-written and directed by John Caird) the show received 150,000 streams from 65 different countries around the world in one night; A show without stars and barely any title recognition. I knew that night that what I watched was the future.
My dream of the future essentially came true this past February. My new company filmed my musical, EMMA, at the Westside Theatre in New York. Not as a live musical; not as a film; but, as a hybrid between the two. Something new. Live singing. No audience. We had a crew that used 3HD cameras that can go anywhere, a film director and a stage director. This is the first original stage musical created to be streamed worldwide. And the fact that I will be able to share this with you – wherever you are in the world – is absolutely thrilling to me.
We are going to be an equitable company and one of the main elements about this new model that’s so important to me is the profit-sharing aspect. Because, even though Daddy Long Legs was free, that’s not how we keep moving more musicals into the world. But for a price as low as a latte, all the artists – directors, writers, designers, actors, musicians on EMMA –share in the profits, forever. It also allows us to keep production costs low but production value high. So a show that might have run 3 weeks in a regional market and never appear again, can now run forever all over the world. With the intent of launching live productions for theaters anywhere, this is a win/win for everyone.
Like Katelynn in her article, I grew up with the desire to put live theatre in my pocket and take it out later at home and watch it again and again. (I TiVo’d LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA Live at Lincoln Center and watched it 11 times. Then the machine broke. Crap. I’ll never see that production again).
My hope is that EMMA is just the first step into the future of streaming musicals. And we need you to be our eyes and ears. You are going to be so helpful in this process and we can’t wait for you to tell us what you think. It’s like a workshop for exciting things to come and you’re a huge part of that.
Thanks for supporting musicals. And nerds who like musicals. And just TheatreNerds in general.
We're excited to announce a collaboration to bring you a new kind of musical. This October, stream Tony nominated Paul Gordon's musical adaptation of 'Emma' from anywhere in the world. To celebrate, we're giving away 20 free streams! Enter here: http://bit.ly/emmagiveaway
Posted by Theatre Nerds on Thursday, August 23, 2018