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Industry Pro Newsletter: The Future of Streaming, Vaccine Mandates, and Inspiring Change

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Reopening plans shift toward a focus on staying open in a way that is safe and healthy for artists and audiences.



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Industry Pro Newsletter: The Future of Streaming, Vaccine Mandates, and Inspiring Change

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August 23, 2021 -

Last night, Pass Over officially opened on Broadway, marking the start of a steady stream of Broadway openings slated to take place over the next few months. You can check out our review roundup for the show here. That opening takes place at an inflection point of uncertainty - there are increased fears over the delta variant spread, return to office plans that were supposed to be deployed this fall are being delayed, and the overall economic recovery has begun to slow. However, many theatres feel that if they don't press forward, then they'll be sealing their own fate - that leaves many to be faced with seemingly impossible decisions: do we continue streaming and not bring anyone back in? Do we produce a hybrid season? Are our audiences ready to come back? If they are, are they more or less likely to return if we have a vaccine and mask policy? These questions must not only weigh the health and safety risks, but as they take on an increasingly political tone, how does that exacerbate the sometimes large gulf between the politics of the audience and the politics of the artist? While we don't have hard and fast answers to many of these questions this week, we are continuing to track them and will continue to bring you stories of how different companies in different regions are dealing with them.

The Social Report

Pass Over takes the top spot with total percent growth following their opening night (read the reviews)! To Kill A Mockingbird also finds itself near the top following the release of a new promotional video penned by Aaron Sorkin. Meanwhile, The Lion King made a splash on social media sharing footage of the cast's first sing through of The Circle of Life.

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The Future of Streaming Theatre

Writing in The New York Times, Elizabeth Vincentelli explores how venues are answering the question of how they will (or won't) move their streaming programs forward, with many theatres finding them additive to their more traditional programming. In a separate piece on App, Ilana Keller explores a similar question, particularly focused on the pro-capture of Broadway shows. In that piece, Sean Cercone, CEO and President of Broadway Licensing, had this to say about streaming, "That's what the NFL understands, that informed consumers consumes more. We as an industry have not done a very good job at adopting that. This tool is one of the ways that regional theaters, Broadway producers, artists themselves, can get out there and help build communities and help educate those communities."

For a look at one of the cool ways theatres have adapted to the digital medium over the last year and a half, check out this interview with Gregory Keng Strasser, Producing Director of 4615 Theatre Company in the Washington, DC area about that companies creative, 4-part, choose-your-own-adventure style video game production, Dark City.

Vaccination Mandates and Small Theatres

In Los Angeles a growing number of companies and performance venues are requiring proof of vaccination - with no exceptions - to attend the event. While others are allowing testing exemptions for those with a religious exemption to the vaccine, this shifting, do-it-yourself approach to policy has many small LA companies unsure of the right path forward for them and their audience - wondering what is going to instill the most confidence to bring audiences back, and what approach invites the fewest potential lawsuits. Elsewhere in the country, more than 60 Chicago theatres and 14 Boston theatres have come together in their respective regions for a united vaccination policy for audiences.

Titus Underwood on Inspiring Change in Arts Organizations

The principal Oboe of the Nashville Symphony stopped by the show Arts Engines to discuss ways in which artists can inspire institutional change within the organizations that they're working for to not only overcome frustration at potential inaction, but to bring about lasting change for future generations.

The Need for Resiliency Services in the Industry

Playwright Sarah Mantell writes in American Theatre about why resiliency services (something slowly becoming more common across the industry) should be seen as vital and necessary parts of the work, as so many of our pieces bring about an emotional and mental toll on performers. She calls for these services to be as common as fight choreography - a tool designed to allow physical trauma to appear to happen on stage, while keeping everyone involved safe in the process.

Bringing Back Broadway, Part 2

The second installment of our Bringing Back Broadway series (Part 1 included an Interview with Charlotte St. Martin of the Broadway League), writer Alexa Criscitiello looked at the myriad of challenges facing Broadway upon reopening - and talked to some of the people trying to solve those problems.

Add Your Show to our Regional Events Calendar

As audiences get set to return to in-person performances, and as your company works to market your own return to the stage, make sure you've got your upcoming shows in our regional events calendars. Listings are free of charge, with boosting options available. Get your show listed now!

BroadwayWorld Stage Mag - A Fully Interactive Show Program

The digital solution to your show program needs - want to see what's possible? Check out the Stage Mag's for off-Broadway's Blindness and for Next on Stage Season 3! Then start building your own at stagemag.broadwayworld.com.

Want more information about marketing options with BroadwayWorld? Request a media kit here and a member of our sales and marketing team will reach out promptly.



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From This Author Alex Freeman