Theatre fans rejoice! You now have a brand new opportunity to enjoy the best of the stage, from the comfort of your own homes!
With STAGE, a new streaming service catering to theatre lovers, fans can dive deep into both original content and classic works.
“We all come from the theatre and have worked in this business for years,” says Rich Affannato, STAGE CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder. “Yet we are also still like little kids discovering new people and stories. When we were young we would have loved to be able to immerse ourselves in the theatre world so easily. So, we set out to create this streaming service to make it easy to live out some dreams and experience the magic of great storytelling anywhere you go.”
Pointing out that discovering the joys of theatre at home makes one more likely to seek out the experience in real life, Affannato adds, “We wanted to create a fun, inclusive environment where theatre fans were able to choose from a wide variety of options. At STAGE we never take ourselves too seriously, so we hope this allows [fans] to see the world of theatre as a place of authenticity where everyone is welcome.”
Among the programming already available are existing content such as Submissions Only, the cult favorite web series created by Kate Wetherhead and Andrew Keenan-Bolger, with guest spots by everyone from Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Nick Jonas to Audra McDonald and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
STAGE also has original programming such as Studio Sessions, a concert series that celebrates a different composer’s history and body of work with performances by Broadway stars like Christy Altomare, Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Nicholas Christopher, Jason Danieley, Telly Leung, and Chita Rivera, who recently celebrated John Kander in an episode that won the Gold Medal for Digital Entertainment at the 2019 New York Festivals® International TV & Film Awards. There’s also talk show Crossovers, which found Season 1 hosted by Taye Diggs and Leslie Uggams as they sat down with ther theatre stars who “Crossed over” into other fields or vice versa.
“STAGE original series and specials are important to us because we have the opportunity to present the entire eco-system of theatre to our audience, introducing the world of theatre as its own ‘lifestyle brand,’” says Affannato. “This includes stories about the drama behind the curtain, the people who work tirelessly to create live productions, and new original scripted and musical series featuring the fantastic stars we already know and love (and subsequently introducing them to younger audiences).”
“We look for anything and everything that is theatre-related,” Affannato says. “We have met some wonderful artists in the community who have brand new projects and ideas, [and] we love collaborating with them to help bring these projects to life. We also look for shows and films that have perhaps been hidden away for years. It’s great to rediscover something that may have been forgotten. It’s nostalgic for some and brand new for others.”