The new deal struck by Amazon to bring Marielle Heller’s What the Constitution Means to Me from its 2019 Broadway run follows in a wake of recent stage filmings shown on streaming services. Disney with Hamilton and talks of a Once on this Island addition; Netflix has had Shrek the Musical for some time; and of course there is the BroadwayHD service that you can subscribe to.
All this comes as live theatre is still in a hazy moment of uncertainty. Will the future look less live and more televised, at least while the pandemic is still a concern? Is that even called theatre anymore?
All these questions and more are those that have been discussed ad nauseam in the arts communities. For business models that hadn’t changed in centuries, suddenly outside forces necessitated rethinking what purpose do the arts serve, and in what medium can you connect with patrons.
As in everything else, the internet provided opportunity. However, had this been a more frequent discussion over the past two or three decades – on how best to utilize technology in traditionally in-person arts experiences – the rise of Covid may have been less disruptive than it ended up actually being.