Transmedia storytelling: relocating the Broadway musical across the digital domain as scalable enterprise
AuthorPurcell, Kevin J.
AffiliationSchool of Contemporary Music
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
© 2015 Kevin J. Purcell
The Broadway musical is a high-risk, commercial, theatre enterprise with correspondingly high rates of non-success in terms of return-on-investment (ROI). The capital formation required for a Broadway production is increasingly perceived as disproportionately excessive to the level of risk in achieving the minimal financial return. Until recently, with overall audience numbers appearing stable in conjunction with continuing high demand, these risk levels have been perceived as tolerable. However, with the exception of Broadway product, audience attendance for musicals in the USA is in decline requiring a re-evaluation of strategies to mitigate the risk of unsustainable losses inherent in single channel income distribution practices consistent within the genre. Distilled through the process of development and production preparation for a new Off-Broadway musical, The Mapmaker’s Opera (the accompanying composition folio) this thesis considers possibilities of re-imagining musicals through a transmedial approach to design, implementation and dissemination in the digital space. Considered through an examination of still emerging trends in crossmedia practice, the research explores a methodology for the creation of new musicals proposing a referencing taxonomy to inform further research and debate. Without prima facie exemplars in transmedial musicals written in the Broadway-style and authored with robust reference to crossmedia design practices and methodologies; or for that matter previous empirical research upon which to draw, this thesis derives a theoretical framework from comparative concepts, principles and schemes of visual-based digital storytelling. Design principles inherent to film, television and even (with caution) gameplay narrative are discussed and dissected. The extent to which new paradigms and explorations into storytelling in the digital space continue to emerge as concepts in transmedial design become more sophisticated; in tandem with the proliferation in, if not profligate use of, pervasive media tools available to amplify the percipient experience through the Internet-of-things (IoT) the absence of similar explorations in Broadway musicals is exposed.
Keywordstransmedia; Broadway; musicals; Internet-of-things; digital storytelling
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