Wednesday July 24, 2019

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Talking About Broadway’s Future at TEDxBroadway Tomorrow

NYC - Theatre District: Broadway Theatre

Image by wallyg via Flickr

Starting tomorrow, Broadway industry folks will be meeting off-Broadway to participate in the latest installment of TEDxBroadway, a Great White Way focused conference from the famed Technology, Entertainment and Design series.  According to the New York Post, the main focus of the conference will be what Broadway shows will look like in 20 years and if they will be able “to compete with the digital world” increasingly taking over other forms of entertainment.  Industry vets such Jordon Roth, the influential president of Jujamcyn Theaters, says to the Post that, “Each artist will have a different reason for why this story’s being told live. Some artists will make it more interactive, while others will make it more of a 360-degree experience, like ‘Fela!’”  referring to the recent Broadway musical about musician Fela Kuti, where “the set extended into the lobby and dancers mingled with the audience.”

While some experts tell the Post that theaters goers may see Jetsons like technology, like holograms on theater marquees, there’ll also be a new generation of playwrights, ones that grew up fully wired, and with reality TV. “I don’t think you’ll see ‘The Real Housewives of Broadway,” producer Ken Davenport offered, “but you’ll see an element of it somehow, and I’m confident there’ll be an artistic treatment of it.”  Others like Patricia Martin, a commerce and culture expert, says that digital tools such as Twitter will likely become more important, that “It’ll be interesting to see if actors start putting that [Twitter] information on their Playbills,” while Damian Bazadona, founder of the online marketing firm Situation Interactive, predicts a future in which we’ll see great theater from other countries.

Bazadona says to the Post. “Maybe we can have actors, sets and all beamed into theaters. It’s already happening on movie screens, so you can only imagine what it will be like 20 years from now.”

New York Post