Live Performance Broadcasting

Live performance broadcasting is a rapidly growing trend used to make performances more accessible. This trend is mostly found in the UK with companies that are filming and broadcasting their own work like National Theatre Live and Live from Stratford-Upon-Avon, which livestream their performance to movie theaters across the globe. Other companies that are following suit are Stage Russia and Met Opera Live. All of these companies livestream their shows to theaters everywhere for admission price of roughly $20, making theater affordable and accessible to everyone around the world. By doing this, the companies keep their broadcasts recorded so that they may keep them on file for people to access online for a fee, sort of like a Netflix for live performance. National Theater Live keeps their recordings and makes them free to any secondary school teacher in the UK to access in class for their students.

Team USA. “Royal Shakespeare Company.” September 2, 2011. Flickr.

Recently, this trend has been growing exponentially, with Live from Lincoln Center having a livestream of Falsettos airing on PBS as well as Newsies coming to theaters. Even television networks are taking to this trend with NBC  and Fox doing live performances of Grease, Hairspray, Peter Pan, and Rocky Horror Picture Show. The experience of filmed theater is not meant to replace the experience of seeing it live, but rather to make these performances accessible to anyone and allowing the arts to reach a broader audience. The Royal Shakespeare Company claimed that a single show with Live from Stratford-Upon-Avon reaches the same number of people as a year’s worth of live audience members.

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