Open Forum

How to present rewarding streaming performances

  • 1.  How to present rewarding streaming performances

    Posted 14 days ago

    We're getting ready to stream our first virtual production (pre-recorded). Our actors are doing great in rehearsal but are bummed about the loss of that exciting and afforming live performance experience. I'm trying to figure out how to make the online "premiere" and subsequent performances more exciting and meaningful for them.

    Has anyone tried using Zoom to stream a pre-recorded show? I'm imagining the audience and cast members zooming in a few minutes before curtain and feeling a sense of community and anticipation as they see all the little faces in Gallery View. At curtain, we'd mute everyone and turn off Chat, and I'd simply share my screen and play the recording. After, we'd do a talk back, opening up Chat again so audience members could type in their questions, which the cast and crew would answer live. If we use Zoom Webinar, we can charge $ for tickets, or we could set up another page to sell tickets and/or accept donations, and then give folks the Zoom link.

    Does this seem like a good idea? Are there any other approaches you know of that can similarly help a performance to feel less anonymous, and more social/rewarding? We can use any platform we like – not restricted by a publisher.

    Many thanks –


    Stuart Rosenthal
    Dania Beach FL

  • 2.  RE: How to present rewarding streaming performances

    Posted 11 days ago
    Last spring, we streamed prerecorded shows onto YouTube as premieres, with live comments.  This year, so far, we did a live radio play on a Zoom webinar with the cast as participants, SMing in the chat to participants only, and a live Q&A run for the attendees by a theatre student.  We're now setting up for our Fall Showcase and will have a mix of live and prerecorded pieces, again in a Zoom webinar, hopefully this time able to also live stream onto YouTube.

    The opportunity to do live performances of the radio play reminded us all of how much we miss live theatre.

    Ellen Koivisto
    San Francisco CA

  • 3.  RE: How to present rewarding streaming performances

    Posted 10 days ago
    I have.  I invited the cast as "panelists." The audiences' cameras were off, as was chat, but they could use the Q&A and the actors (as panelists) could see the Q & A. It seemed like the safest but still interactive option.  We used the Q & A for the post-show panel so actors could answer questions for the audience.  Most of the audience stayed to hear the actors' responses.  I think it went really well. It's still not live theater but my kids definitely agreed it was better than nothing.  Also, pre-recording lowered a lot of my personal anxiety. Wi-fi is a struggle and it was nice to get a clean performance ahead of time.

    Sarah Owens
    Segerstrom High School
    Santa Ana CA