At Apples and Oranges Studios we continually muse on the future of musical theatre and could speak or sing on the subject for hours (in fact, we have). For nearly a decade we’ve been producing Tony Award winning musicals like Memphis, Hair, and An American in Paris. Embracing our knowledge of the past we look to the future in launching our THEatre ACCELERATOR.

Why you may ask?

Most musicals that go to Broadway (including ours) follow a fairly linear sometimes iterative path that looks something like this*:

 

Traditional Musical Theatre Development Process

*We simplified the visual for clarity. We know it’s almost NEVER this simple but the main point centers around a model we understand.

 

Broadway or Bust! This process serves Broadway-bound shows. Unfortunately 90% of new musicals lose money and all too often, all their money. However, with the rapid advancement of technology and in an ever more connected world, new opportunities abound for musical theatre to reach fresh new audiences in an array of possibilities.

At Apples and Oranges, the future travels in circular, oval, square, or maybe even straight lines. The story dictates the path.

 

Apples and Oranges Studios Musical Theatre Development Process

 

With the Apples and Oranges Studios model, the story begins at the center of many pathways to success. This may include  Broadway, but instead of the “Great White Way” we opt for a rainbow of opportunities. Finding the right pathway relies on the audience: who they are, where they are, and how best to reach them. How do you find the audience? Through an iterative process of testing, iterating, and pivoting aimed at finding stories product market fit.

This iterative process spins the gears that drives the story to audience connection, while simultaneously powering community engagement early on. The lines between development and commercial production blur to embrace audience commentary from the onset.

Why are we telling you all this? We’re advocates for the benefits of open source! In 2017 we’re kicking off a massive content push to share everything we can about the art form we love. We will share the ups, downs, flops, successes, and humorous stories. Together we will build the generation of singing storytellers.

 

Thoughts on the future of musical theatre? New initiatives? Share in the comments!