July 15, 2024

Broadway Play "Clyde’s" Will Be Livestreamed

For Broadway shows, there were some limited pandemic experiments with filmed performances, but not livestreaming. A “Hamilton” movie, using footage shot and edited in 2016, was released during the pandemic by a streaming platform, as was a filmed version of David Byrne’s “American Utopia”; the musicals “Come From Away” and “Diana” filmed invitation-only run-throughs during the pandemic, and those filmed performances were also released on streaming platforms.

Now, as theaters reopen, some are discussing the pros and cons, as well as the feasibility, of a so-called hybrid model, in which stage shows can be seen either in-person or at home. Second Stage, working with the company Assemble Stream, earlier this fall offered its subscribers an opportunity to livestream some performances of an epistolary Off Broadway play, “Letters of Suresh”; encouraged by that experience, the nonprofit decided to try the hybrid approach for “Clyde’s,” which is its first post-shutdown Broadway show.

“In-person activity is our priority, but we’ve learned a lot from the pandemic, as far as finding other ways of engaging with audiences,” said Khady Kamara, the executive director of Second Stage. There are a number of potential audiences — those still leery of public gatherings, those who live outside the New York area, those with a variety of accessibility concerns — and Nottage said she also hopes at some point that the play could be streamed in prisons.

Kamara said the theater would livestream “Clyde’s,” which stars Uzo Aduba and Ron Cephas Jones, in real time during performances from Jan. 4 to Jan. 16 — it can’t be watched on demand.

Is there a risk that the project will dissuade people from coming to see the show at the theater? “I really believe that the magic of being inside the theater, and being so close to the stage, is not something that goes away,” Kamara said. “I think that most people are still going to want to go with the in-person experience.”

The performances will be captured by five to seven cameras mounted by Assemble Stream inside the Helen Hayes Theater; the footage will be edited, remotely, in real time, as with a live television broadcast, according to Katie McKenna, the company’s vice president of marketing and business development.

Kamara and McKenna said the theater would not need to remove any seats to accommodate the cameras, and that the cameras would not obstruct any patron’s sightlines; the cameras will be operated remotely. “Our goal is to be as nondisruptive as possible,” McKenna said.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/22/theater/lynn-nottage-clydes-broadway-livestream.html

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