The oldest form of entertainment, theatre, is getting ready to meet the future–streaming. A free service for theatre buffs called, Stage, is set to debut some time this summer. This service will be one-stop entertainment for theatre fiends, as they will have everything from recorded live theatrical performances to original documentaries.
Co-founder and CEO of Stage, Rich Affannato, spoke about the long journey to Stage’s debut,
Much like the time it takes to produce a full-scale Broadway show, we’ve been quietly at work on STAGE for two years, building our team of talent, developing our platform and acquiring existing content, as well as producing new, exclusive programming. Our mission is to make theatre accessible to all, drawing in existing theatre fans and those new to the world to appreciate the legacy of theatre, while presenting it in a fresh, streamlined, relevant manner. We will not only give viewers an inside look at what’s happening on-stage, but also take them behind-the-scenes to provide backstage access into rehearsals and the lives of theatre stars and legends, as well as educate and provide a historical look back at the evolution of this art form.”
Some of the content confirmed for Stage include:
“Studio Sessions” celebrates the best of Musical Theatre Composition. Shot at New York City’s famous recording studio, The Power Station, in front of a live, studio audience, each episode celebrates a composer’s history and body of work through acoustic performances by celebrated Broadway stars, including Heidi Blickenstaff, Mandy Gonzalez, Chita Rivera and more.
“CrossOvers” is a half-hour talk show, taped in front of a live studio audience, featuring a one-on-one interview with a performer who has crossed over from theatre to another media (or vice versa). The conversation with a host, as well as audience Q&A, will explore how theatre informed arts in other media, challenges faced, tools utilized and more.
“The Next Great American Musical” is a reality competition show in which new musicals are presented and judged until one show wins a Broadway production. Each week, writing teams will enlist singers and dancers to perform portions of their musicals, allowing the panel of judges to narrow the competition down to four finalists. During the finals, both the judge’s panel and online voters will select The Next Great American Musical.
Films, documentaries and other licensed content such as “How I Got Over,” “The Standbys,” “EMO the Musical,” “Broadway Idiot,” “Showing Up,” and Artists Lounge Live” (showcasing solo artists from the musical theatre world honoring the great song catalogs).
While Stage will have ton a free content, there will also be a paid tier. This isn’t to be confused with Broadway HD, which runs for $8.99 per month and recently popped up on Amazon Channels and DIRECTV NOW.
Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and Co-Founder of Stage, Jesse Kearney, concluded,
“With the successes that other genres have seen, such as the mystique of restaurant kitchens and chefs being shared through food programming, we’re hoping to do with the theatre world by taking the exclusivity away and making it available for all . Our logo intertwines three stage lights, representing the past, present and future of theatre. With STAGE, we are confident that we will be successful in reaching present and future theatre fans around the country!”
Here is a sneak peek of what to expect: