INTERVIEW: Broadway Unlocked unveils new podcast examining tech and theater

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Image courtesy of Broadway Unlocked / Provided by Emily McGill Entertainment with permission.


Broadway Unlocked, a production company that specializes in reimagining theater in the 21st century, recently unveiled their newest podcast, called #TechTheatre: Clubhouse Conversations, which finds Jess Ryan and Joe White, co-founders of Broadway Unlocked, talking about the technological future of the theater world. Common themes in their “Clubhouse Conversations” center on accessibility, finances and the future of the art form. Audio fans can listen to a host of episodes right now, and new ones are dropped every single week, according to press notes.

Broadway Unlocked, as an organization, provides fans a plethora of live shows and digital content. They also have conversations and performances with stars like Tituss Burgess, Kirstin Maldonado and Shoshana Bean, among others.

Recently Hollywood Soapbox exchanged emails with Ryan and White about the new podcast and the success of Broadway Unlocked. Questions and answers have been slightly edited for style.

Where did the idea for this podcast come from?

Born naturally out of the discussions we were having on our weekly Clubhouse show: #TechTheatre. Without fail each week, we would spend 30 minutes debriefing the conversations, asking even more questions around the ideas we talked about and generally enjoying each other’s company. So we decided to start recording those conversations for other people to hear and hopefully glean some insights. 

Who do you see as your target audience?

We want to be a resource and the connective tissue for people who work in the arts and technology. There is so much overlap between the two industries, and we see the potential to modernize and drive each medium forward by incorporating or adopting practices from the other’s world.

Are you hopeful for the future of theater?

Absolutely — theater is undeniably shifting, evolving and growing, and despite the challenges involved, so many of the effects of this year are positive for our industry, including the impact of the art form we’ve been pioneering. Larger audiences having incredible digital experiences around theatrical events leads audiences back to their local in-person theaters, and that’s a trend that will be incredibly exciting to watch in the next few years.

Has this past year changed your perception on the possibilities of theater?

Most definitely. The pandemic pushed a lot of organizations out of their comfort zones and opened their minds to new approaches and strategies for running their businesses. We think a lot of theaters will try to go back to the “way things were,” but the best, brightest and most resilient will continue pushing the medium forward by embracing technology, growing distributed audiences and challenging the status quo.

What’s the future for Broadway Unlocked?

This fall, we’re launching a reboot of our hybrid social impact show series that started with The #Giveback Concert. These shows bring together in-person and digital audiences to celebrate together. August through October we’re opening the doors of the infamous Waldorf Astoria to the world as a host of Broadway stars star in shows accompanied by Cole Porter’s piano. The shows raise money for organizations defining the future of theater, including Freestyle Love Supreme Academy, The Actor’s Fund and Maestra Music. In February we premiere Uninterrupted., a virtual festival amplifying Black voices and supporting Black-led community organizations. And next spring marks the return of The #Giveback Concert, benefiting Crime Victims Treatment Center, ensuring free treatment and support for survivors of violence. To learn more, go to www.broadwayunlocked.com.

By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com

Broadway Unlocked’s new podcast is #TechTheatre: Clubhouse Conversations. Click here for more information.

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