Broadway Brings New Beginnings

Broadway theatre moves to streaming platforms


Photo by L. Chandler

As the popularity of theatre rises, shows are expanding to new platforms.

Leah Chandler , Variety Editor

Since Shakespearean times, theatre has been a popular form of entertainment that still exists today. However, in the past few years theatre has evolved into experiences for anyone to see even in the comfort of one’s own home. Recently, some of the modern Broadway shows have transferred into movie formats which can be found on several streaming platforms.  

While hit Broadway shows have been made into movies prior, CATS! made one of the biggest transitions in 2019 with never-before-seen CGI costumes in theatre, hitting the internet by storm. After the popularity of CATS!, other productions followed suit starring familiar faces. These Broadway films such as In the Heights, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen, have shown a variety of different methods of converting the theatre experience into movie form. While Hamilton is a live recording of the actual theatre experience from a show in New York, others are filmed as a movie on places like the streets of New York City. This takes the live aspect away and transitions the performance into a movie rather than a recorded play.  

According to an interview with the Atlantic, to the director, Jon Chu, the In the Heights movie changes certain plot concepts to help create more in-depth characters. 

“We went deeper into what drives each of these characters, and made their dreams and hopes and struggles as big as any movie you’ve ever seen,” Chu said.  

Sarah Kniesley (11) works backstage at the Spartanburg Youth Theatre and sees promise in the transition, however she still prefers traditional performance and plans to see that continue in the future.  

“Turning musicals into movies helps to give the Broadway experience to people that are unable to make it to shows. It’s definitely not the same as a live performance but its helping evolve the theatre community,” Kniesley said.  

The Dear Evan Hansen movie, which came out in late September, stars Ben Platt, the original actor in the Broadway version which premiered in 2016, as teenager Evan Hansen. The movie stays close to the original script with only a few alterations to suit movie form and change lines some fans considered questionable. This most recent release promises the continuation of theatre being transported anywhere to watch anytime.  

Laney Voyles (12) acts in local plays at the Spartanburg Youth Theatre and loves to see the changes occurring in the theatre world.  

“That’s the fascinating thing about theatre, it never stops growing and changing. Movies are being made, Broadway shows are being altered… Change is good, especially in the theatre world,” Voyles said.