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BWW Blog: A New Way of Watching

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I've been thinking about what the future of theatre and streaming services is heading.

BWW Blog: A New Way of Watching

During these trying times of COVID-19, many people, including myself, have found comfort and solace in television. Watching TV has become one of the things that people use as a topic of discussion over the Zoom metaphorical water cooler. Television, however, has looked much different over the years and, these past 6 months to 475 years in quarantine, have shown just how important streaming services have become when it comes to enjoying our favorite shows. While I have enjoyed watching old shows like Friends and Scrubs and new ones like everyone's favorite Tiger King on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, I have missed the feeling of going out and watching live theatre like many others.

The interesting thing, however, about these feelings is that some streaming services have scratched the theatre itch that I have had. This has made me think about what the future of theatre and streaming services is heading. Disney+ garnered massive success with their recording of Hamilton, Netflix has had Shrek the Musical on it for a while and they are getting a film adaptation of The Boys in the Band with the original Broadway cast, and Amazon Prime has a plethora of musicals that are available to stream (for a nominal fee per show). This has

made me think of the future of theatre's accessibility in the home of the everyday person. Not every person likes going to the theatre, or even can fathom the idea of stepping into the theatre space. What if watching Newsies on Disney+ or Sunday in the Park with George on Amazon Prime sheds a little light for someone to want to venture into the world of live theatre once we can go the theater. Also, will live theatre be streamed for those to see for cheaper while others are in the audience like normal? The world is ever changing, and the theatre world is one of those areas that must embrace change if we want the art form to survive. Once the pandemic is over and the world goes back to some semblance of normalcy, what will live theatre look like?

Will there be an audience that is willing to pay to see shows that are available in HD on their favorite streaming services at home? Can the two worlds of seeing a show live and streaming that same show as it is happening live coexist? No one truly knows. One thing that I can speculate is that Broadway will continue to become more accessible to everyone in a way that it never has before.

The Broadway world might not be ready for every single production to be available to be streamed while simultaneously being seen live by others, but some more high-quality productions similar to the recorded versions of Hamilton or Shrek the Musical are sure to come to our favorite streaming platforms in the near future. This just leaves us with the following question: What should we be watching and singing along to next?



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From This Author Student Blogger: Allison Kephart