"i wish there was a netflix for broadway shows"
literally the whole point of theatre is that it’s live
but not everyone has the resources to see professional theatre…?
listen when did i say it had to be professional theatre there are hundreds of community theatres and regional theatres and avant garde theatres out there like
i’m sorry but theatre is meant to be experienced live otherwise it would be a fucking movie
i’m using “professional” to mean equity, so that also includes regional and maybe even some community theatres.
here’s the thing about theatre being at its best live: it’s a double-edged sword. that makes it special, but it also makes it very, very insular. and that’s great if you’re able to attend productions at those theatres, but what about people who are geographically or monetarily unable to see their favorite broadway/regional shows or actors? why should they just suck it up and accept that the ~sanctity of the medium ought not to be comprised~ when, rights issues notwithstanding, a video recording of the show could be the only way to experience them?
and even people who live in the vicinity of professional theatres often can’t afford ticket prices. i would not begrudge ANYONE the wish to simply watch a filmed version of pippin, for example, rather than shell out $75+ for a ticket or get up at 5 AM to rush the show. even regional theatres are exorbitantly priced nowadays.
look, i’ve seen many, many professional shows in my short lifetime, and even i would jump at the chance to watch a filmed production of practically anything. i really don’t see why this is such a heinous and outrageous idea. theatre is already a grossly overcommercialized and elitist industry when it ought to be inclusive and populist, so why should we deny people outside the circle exposure to shows and actors they’ve always wanted to see?
This is one of the reasons why I respect the British theatre so much. Not only is there a real effort to make theatre more affordable to more of the public, the major theatres film everything and even if it’s not released via NT live or on DVD, you can go to an archival library and watch it there. We don’t have that system in the US. We treat Broadway like it’s the only theatre in this country. Not only is that patently false, most of the best theatre in America is not happening on Broadway (especially after this insipid clusterfuck of a season. Seriously, never in my life have I seen such aggressively mediocre theatre). Innovative, exciting, accessible theatre is happening everywhere. That being said, it often is too expensive, and all theatres need to explore alternative methods of getting what they do to people who want to see it.
Because the bottom line is this: theatre is storytelling. Storytellers should want their stories to reach as many people as possible. I run a theatre company. I want to be able to pay the people who work with me and I know that means that we will eventually have to raise the cost of our tickets. But, we will always film our productions and make them available online or on DVD. Everyone who wants to see live theatre should be able to see it, one way or another.
I adore my $25, any-seat-is-a-good-seat local theatre but they don’t do everything I want to see and sometimes I want to see the original actors. Broadway should do a video series, especially when they know there will never be a motion picture version.