After the news broke that Broadway was not opening any theatre's doors until at least Labor Day and the growing number of plays and musicals being streamed on various sites, I started thinking about what that meant for my industry.
Releasing filmed theatre is an idea many have had. For example, 'Hamilton' is going to be streamed on Disney Plus come this July. Although this was already planned and in the works before quarantine many other productions have warmed up to the idea; hosting recordings of their past performances on various sites or rushing to film a current show not yet opened. As a consumer I am excited to have new content to watch, but as a professional in the industry I have a few questions. Are those working behind the scenes, the wardrobe, stage technicians, etc. being paid residuals? Are the actors? Can those filming during quarantine keep safe social distance? Finally, what does this filming mean for theatre once things get "back to normal"?
I have a few friends in the industry and Actor's Equity, so I sent out a quick text to them to see what they thought about streaming theatre. The overall consensus was that we were all happy that streaming agreements were something being discussed by our industry. Streaming is new and there are so many different opinions on what is best for those working in theatre in regards to agreements and working on a filmed theatre show. Another question we were all interested to hear discussed: "when does the filming and streaming of theatre become film"? I am looking forward to hearing more from the different theatre unions and others in the industry about this new frontier in theatre.
-Curtains for Broadway: No Shows Til Labor Day, at Least- NY TIMES
-'Hamilton' movie will stream on Disney Plus on July 3 - NY TIMES
-How the Entertainment Industry is Dealing with Coronavirus -Backstage
-How to Support a Theatre Company and Stream a Show While Social Distancing -Playbill