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Video archive in regional theatre

lachri5
Understudy
joined:1/4/11
Understudy
joined:
1/4/11
Video archive in regional theatre#1
Posted: 1/23/19 at 10:10pm

Just discovered there's a video archive for theatre in the DC area, called WAPAVA, that has been filming theatre productions since 1993! There are gems like the 2002 Sondheim festival at Kennedy Center (it had Sunday w/ Raul Esparza, Sweeney w/ Brian Stokes Mitchell, Company w/ John Barrowman, Night Music w/ Kristen Bell, Passion w/ Michael Cerveris, Merrily w/ Raul Esparza again), Little Dancer in 2012, The Highest Yellow in 2004 at Signature (an obscure LaChiusa musical starring Marc Kudisch as Vincent van Gogh, who knew there's a video of it!!!) and many more. On top of that, it's free and open to all. The only pain is that it's located in College Park, no easy public transportation, and the library seems to be open only on weekdays. For anyone who's interested, here's their website: http://www.wapava.org/index.php/search-data-base/

Which brought me to the question, are there more of those? Especially in cities with a prosperous theatre scene, like Chicago, Bay Area etc.

Ravenclaw
Stand-by
joined:9/16/17
Stand-by
joined:
9/16/17
Video archive in regional theatre#2
Posted: 1/24/19 at 3:01am

In 2015, the Chicago Film Archive of Performance began filming productions which are now available for viewing at the Chicago Public Library. They have filmed 85 productions so far (a list can be seen at http://www.c-fap.org/C-FAP/About.html) but most are non-equity storefront productions, presumably because of regulations with the union that still need to be worked out. 

Most regional theaters film their productions for archival purposes, usually never to be made available to the public. Often, these are recorded to help understudies study their tracks or to accompany the stage manager's book should there be a remount or transfer. Occasionally, of course, they may leak and be circulated in the same circles as bootleg recordings.

cmorrow
Understudy
joined:10/25/12
Understudy
joined:
10/25/12
Video archive in regional theatre#3
Posted: 1/24/19 at 12:11pm

lachri5 said: "Just discovered there's a video archive for theatre in the DC area, called WAPAVA, that has been filming theatre productions since 1993! There are gems like the 2002 Sondheim festival at Kennedy Center (it had Sunday w/ Raul Esparza, Sweeney w/ Brian Stokes Mitchell, Company w/ John Barrowman, Night Music w/ Kristen Bell, Passion w/ Michael Cerveris, Merrily w/ Raul Esparza again), Little Dancer in 2012, The Highest Yellow in 2004 at Signature (an obscure LaChiusa musical starring Marc Kudisch as Vincent van Gogh, who knew there's a video of it!!!) and many more. On top of that, it's free and open to all. The only pain is that it's located in College Park, no easy public transportation, and the library seems to be open only on weekdays.For anyone who's interested, here's their website:http://www.wapava.org/index.php/search-data-base/
 

Jim Taylor, the founding director of WAPAVA, used to donate copies of some of his achive's videos (though not all of them) to the TOFT collection at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center. In checking the NYPL catalog I see that 13 WAPAVA videos are at the library (including several from the 2002 Sondheim festival), and can be viewed in the TOFT screening room here in the city.

lachri5
Understudy
joined:1/4/11
Understudy
joined:
1/4/11
Video archive in regional theatre#4
Posted: 1/24/19 at 2:26pm

Thanks for the insight into Chicago Public Library, Ravenclaw. It's a pity we don't have a TOFT for each major theatre area. And thanks, cmorrow. It's good to know that you don't have to come all the way to DC to watch the Sondheim Festival.

A correction to my original post: the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library at the University of Maryland, normally opens on weekends too. It's just closed this weekend.

On wikipedia I found this: "Archives modeled on TOFT include the Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco, the Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive established in Washington, D.C., and the National Video Archive of Performance in London."

I already know about V&A. Does anybody know about the video archive at Museum of Performance & Design in SF? Do they film local productions? Are those videos open to public? Where can we find a list of the videos. There's not much information on their website.

Edit to add: In today's Behind the Curtain podcast, Kevin recommended Goodspeed Opera House's Scherer Library of Musical Theatre, where they filmed most if not all of their productions, and offer to the public for free viewing.

Updated On: 1/24/19 at 02:26 PM
LarryD2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/1/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/1/14
Video archive in regional theatre#5
Posted: 1/24/19 at 2:29pm

TOFT has a healthy amount of regional theater among their filmed holdings -- you can search their catalog to find out if they filmed a particular production.

cmorrow
Understudy
joined:10/25/12
Understudy
joined:
10/25/12
Video archive in regional theatre#6
Posted: 1/24/19 at 4:06pm

lachri5 said: 
Edit to add: In today's Behind the Curtain podcast, Kevin recommended Goodspeed Opera House's Scherer Library of Musical Theatre, where they filmed most if not all of their productions, and offer to the public for free viewing."

P.S. Goodspeed has donated dozens of their videos to TOFT over the years, so many if not most of their holdings are also available to view in the screening room at the Performing Arts Library, at Lincoln Center.

lachri5
Understudy
joined:1/4/11
Understudy
joined:
1/4/11
Video archive in regional theatre#7
Posted: 1/24/19 at 5:13pm

I just searched on TOFT, indeed I found some contributed by WAPAVA. I even found a few that TOFT filmed in DC, that WAPAVA doesn't have lol. I guess the advantages of WAPAVA is that you don't need a academic reason to access, and of course depending on where you live, it may be closer.