Skip navigation

“Almost like being there?”: A conceptualisation of live-streaming theatre

“Almost like being there?”: A conceptualisation of live-streaming theatre

Vlachos, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-4870-9006 and Mueser, Daniela (2018) “Almost like being there?”: A conceptualisation of live-streaming theatre. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 9 (2). pp. 183-203. ISSN 1758-2954 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-05-2018-0030)

[img] PDF (Author Accepted Abstract)
20235 VLACHOS_Almost_Like_Being_There_2018.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Registered users only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (138kB) | Request a copy

Abstract

The live streaming of theatrical performances to cinemas has become increasingly common in recent years. The practice offers potentially positive returns for audience reach, audience development, revenue streams and global cultural exchange (Cochrane et al, 2014; Nesta, 2011; King, 2016). However, the conceptualisation of live performance transmissions remains under-explored. The aim of this paper is to review critically selected literature on event experience and apply it to the growing practice of Live Streaming Theatre (LST). In doing so the paper develops a new conceptual model that can be used to analyse audience expectations, motivations and experience of Live Streaming Theatre that that can then be tested in the field.

A comparative historic case study approach combines a structured review of relevant academic literature and industry sources is combined with an analysis of media representations and marketing materials. Theories of live cultural experience and authenticity are critically reviewed. The opportunities and threats of Live Streaming Theatre to performing arts companies are summarised. The approach considers cognitive, affective and behavioural factors in probing themes of audience awareness, perceptions, expectations, and experience of Live Streaming Theatre. The paper uses these factors to develop an original conceptual model Live Streaming Theatre.

The research finds that that the practice of cinematic live transmission of performing arts challenges existing conceptual categories and marketing strategies. Fundamental events studies factors such as ‘attendance’, ‘authenticity’, and ‘experience’ are re-evaluated. The model suggests that despite improved improvements in digital technology, traditional theatre and broadcasted theatre are two different experiences, not substitutes. The potential for Live Streaming Theatre screenings to attract new audiences requires further study.

The implications of the research reflect the changing business models and supply side dynamics of theatre production and touring. As a conceptual paper, the results are subject to being tested in the field. This testing has been carried out and a subsequent paper currently in preparation will report the results. The findings reveal implications for the evolving future of hybrid and mixed event experiences.

The implications of the research reflect the changing business models and supply side dynamics of theatre production and touring. The results suggest that live streaming is of limited effectiveness in addressing the capacity limits of Baumol and Bowen’s (1966) ‘cost disease’ in live arts performance. LST allows major brands to penetrate regional markets thereby potentially squeezing out smaller touring companies and restricting innovation. The findings reveal implications for the evolving future of hybrid and mixed event experiences.

The influence of digital technology on live arts experience is currently under-explored and under-theorised. This paper develops a new conceptual model that captures in greater detail than previously the various factors that may determine audience engagement with, and experience of, Live Streaming Theatre. The paper contributes to knowledge by addressing the gap between competing aims of access and authenticity. The analysis expands the academic understanding of hybrid and virtual event experiences.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: live streaming; hybrid events; theatre; broadcast; digital technology; authenticity; opera
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 16:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/20235

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics