Jim Kierstead and Broadway United Team Up to Launch BROADWAY VIRTUAL
Emmy, Olivier, and three-time Tony-Award winning producer Jim Kierstead (Kierstead Productions, Inc.,) and Broadway United have announced the launch of a new company, Broadway Virtual, a subsidiary specializing in streamed and recorded content, as well as the education of artists in order to continue development of their work using technology created to develop virtual theatre-related content for streaming and film. The focus of the company will be to synergistically bring the worlds of theatre, film, and television to work together. The company is being formed to educate and help artists, and not-for-profits to integrate modern technologies into their development process in order to help facilitate the creation of their work whether the eventual goal for the piece is live theatre, film, streaming, or a combination thereof.
Kierstead states of the new endeavor, "With over 30 years' experience working in the information technology field, and over 20 years of experience developing theatrical, film, and television productions, I wanted to use this difficult and unusual time to the advantage of all artists in our field. By creating new content, as well as working to aid and educate artists on what technologies are available to them to continue their work, I am hopeful that what we learn and the new habits we form now can be brought into the future when live theatre does come back again." He goes on to say, "Everything I do and work toward has a goal of inclusion and diversity and bringing others into the world of theatre, which has traditionally been a bit exclusive due to inherent costs and geography. With streaming and through the aid of technology, we have the unique opportunity to open up theatre to people from everywhere in the world at a much lower cost. I'm a firm believer that live theatre and film/streaming can complement each other and co-exist, as opposed to being detrimental to each other. This unique time we are in has forced us to be creative and think outside the box so I would like to embrace this opportunity as we move into the future."
Broadway Virtual also has the mission of helping to create virtual content for the not-for-profits in order to keep them in the conscious of their subscribers during the shutdown. "As we know, not-for-profits are in a terrible situation as they have staffs and an infrastructure to support, but yet currently have little or no revenue," states Kierstead. "Not-for-profits, which are traditionally underfunded, are struggling and our new company has the mission of helping these organizations by creating content that may be used as fundraisers and for public relations. I am a huge supporter of not-for-profit theatre and have been on the Boards of The York Theatre Company, The Abingdon Theatre Company, and The New York Theatre Barn for many years. It's time for us to step forward and support these crucial organizations that represent the roots of our NY theatre infrastructure."
The company's first endeavor has been partnering with The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, FL. Kierstead says, "It's been my pleasure to partner with my Broadway United business partner, William Fernandez, to create content for the Arsht Center's 'Miami Monologues' series where local playwrights and actors team up to film a recording of exceptional monologues from their plays." Broadway Virtual has been releasing weekly monologues, adding to the list of exceptional work presented by the Arsht Center's "Arsht At Home" series -
Broadway Virtual has a full roster of projects in the works including a fundraiser for New York City-based not-for-profit "The Sol Project," serving LatinX writers, where a new play reading will be streamed that Broadway United is developing by Jake Cline and Vanessa Garcia (Amparo) entitled Jenna and The Whale. Also, a virtual play reading series is in the works for this summer entitled "Play ON" featuring plays from notable playwrights performed by top notch Broadway talent. And Kierstead suggests that a film version of the hit one-woman show that Broadway United presented this past February at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre entitled The Adult in the Room - Nancy Pelosi in the House is in the works. He states, "We were ready to bring the show Off-Broadway this summer, but clearly that is not in the cards. But we are not about to let this pandemic keep us down. We will proceed in whatever way we are able, for now." Broadway Virtual is partnering with the New York City Council to create a celebration video for the Heritage of Pride Festival for Pride month which marks the 50th Anninversary of the Pride Parade.
Kierstead invites, "Please do check us out and keep up to date on what we are up to! We are happy to add you to our mailing list. Please stay safe and keep being creative!"
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