PLAYBILL VTF LIVE encourages theatre artists to think outside the black box and develop new forms of live theatre that can be experienced simultaneously with other audience members regardless of physical location or proximity. “We have our roots in theatre festivals,” says Executive Producer Anthony Caporale. “The Imbible: A Spirited History Of Drinking opened at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2014 for what was supposed to be five performances, and that launched our company into a six-year run with over 1,500 performances of four different shows.” Artistic Director Nicole DiMattei adds, “We feel very close to festival theatre, and creating a new festival platform is a labor of love for us.”
Shows selected to participate will be performed in real time during the festival broadcast, and entrants are encouraged to create works that fully embrace and showcase the live aspect of their productions, as well as the value of shared events. “While audiences remain unable to come to the theatre, Playbill is determined to bring theatre to audiences,” says Alex Birsh, Playbill’s Vice President and Chief Digital Officer. “This exciting new festival is a perfect fit for our new digital programing, and we’re eager to see what you come up with!” Broadway Theatre Studio is assembling a distinguished panel of judges to choose a winning production, and there will also be an Audience Choice winner selected by festival attendees. Each winner will receive a $1,500 cash prize, and there is no cost to submit or present in the festival.
“No one is sure what theatre will look like moving forward,” DiMattei notes, “but we do know it will look different.” PLAYBILL VTF LIVE is also certain that tomorrow’s theatre-makers will be instrumental in re-conceiving our art form, and discovering new tools, techniques, and experiences that we can’t even imagine today. “We see PLAYBILL VTF LIVE as a way to crowdsource the solutions we need to speed theatre’s recovery, as well as a means to advance live performance in directions that will remain valuable and relevant afterward,” concludes Caporale.
Playbill VTF Live is committed to providing performance opportunities for a diverse and inclusive community of theatre artists that give voice to writers, producers, directors, cast, and crew members of all colors, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, physical abilities, and ages regardless of socio-economic, family, or marital status.