Off-Broadway to On-Line

By Jason Criss Howk

13 December 2020

I have been watching my friends in the acting, singing, musician, dancing, and movie theater business struggle this year. It has made me think a lot about where their industry is going. I am a big fan of the arts and humanities, they make our nation wiser and kinder, they lift us when we are struggling ourselves.

So how can we save those who work in our theaters and the theaters themselves? Better yet, how can they save themselves. Even the most well funded auditoriums and world renowned performance centers will be lurching towards closure in the wake of this pandemic. The small theaters, film or mixed venues are already closing, with little hope of a resurgence.

It’s time to rethink the venues themselves and how entertainment gets to the audience, instead of getting the audience to the show.

Venues must transform into a studio that is constantly filming shows. For live theatrical spaces the shift is small. For film-showing venues (movie cinemas) it will take some investment to put stages back into the spaces.

Theaters and auditoriums need to be able to film, record, house, quarantine, and keep up cleanliness standards needed to allow the show to go on. Actors, singers, musicians, and dancers need to go with their troupe to these facility bubbles and perform for a camera instead of an audience.

This is a big mental shift more than a physical one. The troupes need to get used to this new method of putting on a show. The venues need to actively work to make their space the place that performers want to practice and record at.

So how do they make money? Good question. The audience is still hungry for entertainment, they are just unwilling or unable to go to a show. Most Americans have been to the end of Netflix and are rewatching The Office for the 6th time.

So film the show. Go talk up the show to the media as you always have. Sell the tickets to individuals, or the show itself to media streaming services.

If the show must truly go on, and I think it should…then some venue needs to lead the way and a team of performers needs to sign on to film a show and sell it.

I know this is not my usual topic, but in reality the arts and humanities of our nation add to the creativity that our national security practitioners need to be successful.

Break a leg!

#broadway #concerts #film #actor #singer #musician #thespian #showMustGoOn #theater #stage #offBroadway #covid19

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