While virtual reality may not be typically associated with Broadway, experts are trying to bring the technology to top-nominated shows in the industry, providing another dimensional aspect to beloved plays.
John Gore, who produces Tony Award-winning shows like The Band’s Visit, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hello, Dolly!, is teaming up with the virtual reality platform MelodyVR, known for working with artists Kelly Clarkson and Imagine Dragons, to bring virtual reality to the stage. According to Forbes, theatergoers will be able to try out this VR technology during a show. They will have the option to “jump” to different vantage points throughout the theater, changing from the orchestra pit to the front row, or side view of the stage. Additionally, those who can’t make it to a show will have the chance to still view it.
Anthony Matchett, CEO of MelodyVR, explained that the company’s vision is to connect fans with “unobtainable experiences in new and immersive ways.”
“Musical Theater is a natural evolution in our journey,” he said in a statement. “And I’m pleased that we will soon be delivering even more amazing content to consumers via our partnership with JGO [John Gore Organization].”
Gore, who is both the owner and CEO of JGO, noted that VR could be a way to bring theater to people who do not have it available to them. He explained that JGO is centered around the goal to “serve tantalizing content to theater fans, regardless of geographical location.”
“Using VR technology is just one more way to deliver Broadway to fans around the globe, especially when the live experience of Broadway and touring Broadway is beyond their reach.”
Broadway fans got a taste of the new technology over the weekend when the Tony nominated composer Joe Iconic for Be More Chill launched the platform’s debut with a VR tour of the Tony Awards suite at Sofitel New York. Viewers were invited to watch scenes from Be More Chill through the MelodyBR app. The show’s producer Jerry Goehring said that the team at Be More Chill recognized the potential of bringing Broadway to fans around the world with virtual reality and he’s looking forward to give all fans access through this “revolutionary platform.”
Through the partnership, JGO has invested £5 million and MelodyVR is issuing new shares, valuing the company at £220 million, Musically reports.