Ever since the off-Broadway show Daddy Long Legs announced they will be live-streaming this Thursday’s show, I’ve been besieged with emails and Twitters and andFacebook messages. Did you hear? Can you believe it? How do you feel??
I am THRILLED that producers with deeper pockets than VirtualArtsTV are finally recognizing the amazing potential for live-streamed theater! I’ve been preaching the possibilities and mostly hearing “that will never work” since 2007, but my passion for live-streaming has been so strong, that despite insane odds we’ve been live-streaming the arts since then, launching with the first ever live-streamed scripted series written by Sharr White.
Then, in the early years of Kickstarter, Joey Brenneman, Erin Bigelow and I raised $20,000 on the crowdfunding site and produced the first ever live-streamed interactive play, Better Left UnsaidTV (written by Joey), way back in 2011. In fact one of the producer’s of Daddy Long Legs was a post-show guest on one of our streams.
After the success of Better Left Unsaid, (we had 10,000, 15,000 unique views at some performances and a very vocal international audience despite no marketing budget), VirtualArtsTV went on to produce the first ever live-streamed arts festival in 2013, which live-streamed 24 different theater, dance and music companies.
Since 2013 VATV has produced the first live-streamed off-Broadway show, Bedlam’s Hamlet, (Daddy Long Legs isn’t the first off-broadway show to live-stream as was asserted by the New York Times , but Hamlet did, by necessity, have a limited audience). And… the first live-streamed concert reading (Jay O. Sanders wonderful Unexplored Interior – 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide which went on to be produced by the Mosaic Theater Company) the first live-streamed off-off broadway show via The Flea Theater..a live-streamed musical created by Broadway producers… we could go on.
During this period we also created the first mobile app for live-streamed arts, and the first platform dedicated to live-streamed performing arts.
VATV’s work has been covered in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC, The Huffingtonpost, TheaterMania, BroadwayWorld, DanceMagazine. It’s been a trending topic on Twitter and featured on blogs all over the world.
One of our greatest sources of pride, but also stumbling blocks, is we’ve reached hundreds of thousands of audience members all over the world and garnered tweets, and youtube comments and facebook comments and instagrams by the thousands, on the tiniest of budgets. We’ve never had a PR rep, or a marketer -and yet the overwhelming online audience response has made it clear that live-streamed theater, dance and music has a brilliant future. It’s great to have a big budget, but turning your show into a live-streamed event is a possibility for almost any company – it just has to be done right!!!!
As Peter Gelb says, a high tide raises all ships!
I’ll be cheering Daddy Long Legs on on Thursday night!