How Did Broadway Become Viral?

Will Roland dancing in a scene from 'Be More Chill.' (Photo: MARIA BARANOVA)

Will Roland dancing in a scene from 'Be More Chill.' (Photo: MARIA BARANOVA)

  • Annabelle Lynn

Do you love theatre? Yes. Do you love Broadway?  Yes. Do you yearn to be on the Broadway stage? Yes. Do you eat, sleep, live Broadway? Yes. Have you ever seen a Broadway show? …..no… Have you ever been to New York? ….no…. Well, how the hell do you love something that you have never encountered?

As someone who lives halfway across the world, far away from the big apple, heck far away from the US, it is almost unheard of when someone says they want to fly across the map to be on the big stage. That is until the 21st Century. When the digital age created a bridge to broaden one’s horizons and allow dreams and goals to go beyond the border.

With the growth of digital media, it creates awareness of overseas news. Decades ago, it would take a certain amount of time before news would spread, not to mention the amount of manpower needed to spread.

However, nowadays with only a simple press of a button, the whole world will be aware of recent news in seconds.

Now, how does this apply to theatre? More specifically, Broadway.

Back in the day, Broadway is a very small community, exclusive to the wealthy americans. As ticket prices where high, and transportation is not well developed. And Broadway is an entertainment business, and entertainment is not considered a professional career aspect. Even in this day and age, acting is still not a mainstream profession. Therefore, it is not as well known.

However, as time goes by, technology flourishes. Thus creating a global shake up. And as the perception technology is transformed from a luxury to a necessity, the prices went down. Allowing the general public to gain access. Now we are able to stream the Tony Awards while it is live all across the globe. We are also able to gain access through the wonders of social media. With accounts like BroadwayWorld, Broadway.com, OnStageBlog, TheatreNerds, Playbill etc posting the current status of theatre at any given moment on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. Thus creating a link of information to everyone with possession of a smartphone or electronic devices.

Apart from that, Broadway shows have also made good use of technology, creating their own social media accounts, updating fellow followers on the latest news. And providing authorized Cast Recordings that could be purchased at a reasonable price. Allowing a worldwide audience to fall in love with the show. And developing a new hobby of doing theatre in their own location, or stepping one foot further by pursuing the Broadway dream.

Which is why the amount of international students applications and quota have increased in Universities with Musical Theatre Majors, and how the Broadway stage has grown more diverse over the years.