Tweet My Regards to Broadway

by Shari Donk

You turn on a TV show and what do you see in the lower left hand corner? Ten years ago – even THREE years ago, you’d see nothing exceptional. But today, it is likely you will see the TV show hashtagged. #Fringe #Glee #HIMYM. It is becoming extremely popular for TV shows to encourage their fans to tweet about that night’s episode to both follow fan conversations and engage with those watching and commenting. This trend is now making its way into the theater world.

Opera houses across the US are setting up “tweet seats” – a designated section for a select group of audience members given permission to pull out their phones or tablets to tweet during the entire performance. #Brilliant? Yes. It is poor etiquette to chat during any theater performance, but what better way to converse and engage than through twitter. Plus, the tweet seats are in the back and side rows, as to not distract non-tweeting audience members.

It is time for Broadway to hop on the twitter train. Tweet seats allocated for influential bloggers, photographers, and reporters would be a great way for the show to gain even more traction. There are a few Broadway shows who have done a fantastic job of tweeting with fans. Spiderman on Broadway thanks all fans who mention seeing the show for “swinging by” and does a great job at interacting with fans on Twitter.

Spiderman on Broadway engaging with fans via Twitter

Next to Normal grew their fan base and even increased sales by tweeting lines of the show and behind the scenes audio to their followers. But other shows, like The Lion King, are surprisingly lacking in the twitter-sphere. Think of all the ways a huge show like that could trend on twitter (and there are a ton!) if they opened up tweet seats to their audience.

Today, most Broadway shows have Facebook Fan Page and some are active on Twitter. In a year, I bet ALL of them will be active on twitter – allowing audience members to tweet along with the show.

Do you agree? Would you sit in a tweet seat area of a Broadway show? How do you think this would benefit/hinder the show? Tell us in the comments below!

Brittany Berger November 20, 2012
I still haven't seen Newsies, but I love the show's social presence. I have tweeted about the show, and every single time have received a response from them, even when I was just talking about the soundtrack or movie and not the Broadway show. I also love how they promoted voting with "Seize the Vote"
Peter Kelly November 19, 2012
I think it is a brilliant idea how to create social media awareness. However, for what price? I don't go to the theater much, but what will a take away from the show, when I will be looking at the keyboard of my smartphone and didn't pay attention to the show? I think that this will ruin the experience of the people "sacrificing" to tweet during the show, helping to boost that theater's social media exposure.
Naully Nicolas November 14, 2012
I want to the same for cinema or Classic music performance
Evan Watkins November 14, 2012
As an avid theater goer I think that while a live tweet area would benefit the show, it would take away the some of the magic that is a live theatrical experience. Here's an example: Godspell opened up tweet seats for one of their performances when the show was still running in an effort to get more people talking about the show and hopefully boost sales. It didn't really work, and the show ended up closing shortly thereafter. On the other hand, take a show like The Book of Mormon, which has an incredible social media presence and they don't need to resort to gimmicks to get people talk about the show. (note: The Book of Mormon's popularity is in part due to who it's author's are and the fact that the show is the hottest ticket on Broadway).
Ricky DeMaio November 14, 2012
Newsies used to follow me on Twitter! But now they don't. :(

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