Why I couldn’t turn off the Teen Choice Awards.

Yep, it’s true.  I watched the effin’ Teen Choice Awards.

I am not a teen.  I don’t have a teen.  But I’ll admit, I watched ’em.

And since John Stamos was a presenter, I didn’t feel too bad.  I mean, at least I wasn’t acting like a teen.  (That was a low blow, wasn’t it?  I don’t even know why I said it.  I love me some Uncle Jesse!)

So what was it that prevented me from grabbing the remote and going back to the Golf Channel (there’s no Broadway Channel, so what else is a guy with only two interests going to do)?

It was something the “OMG he’s so cute” host said when describing the voting for the awards.  The hottie-mcshmottie said, “Not only did you vote for the winners of the awards tonight, but we let you vote for the performers, the presenters, and we even let you vote for what the actual award looks like!”

That’s right, the Producers of the Teen Choice Awards put the entire show in the hands of their audience.  It was a show designed by the people who would watch it (something tells me the audience satisfaction polls are going to be pretty high).

Over the past several years, more and more power has been turned over to the consumer, from audience voting to user ratings.  And now, the next theater generation is getting to customize their entertainment.

If you don’t think this power and control is going to affect theater in about twenty to thirty years, well, then you should probably stick to episodes of Fuller House (There I go again!  Sorry Uncle J!).

Audiences are going to feel entitled to help pick not only what they watch and when it’ll be, but also what it is.  How will theater and Broadway react?

Will audiences pick the seasons at Non-Profits?  Could surveys decide who will star in the next Broadway revival?

Sounds like a cold way to design a piece of art, right?  But if it produces something that more people love, is it worth it?

The audiences of tomorrow are being trained to have unlimited choices in their entertainment.  We will have to adapt to make sure we remain one of them.


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  • omg – that’s a Brave New Theatre World I do NOT want to live long enough to see.

    Theatre is already a by-committee art form – throw in the audience and it will be – well – the Teen Choice Awards!

  • Kevin McMullan says:

    The line has to be drawn somewhere while there is still a fraction of us left who refuse to bow to the lowest common denominator. Otherwise, let’s just hand the audience loaded guns.

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    Americans voted for George W. Bush twice and Donald Trump leads the polls. ‘Nuff said.

  • Jessica McCoy says:

    I don’t mind the notion of audience involvement in the process of show selection…to a point. I mean, everyone who is producing entertainment considers their audience ANYWAY, unless they just don’t care about selling a ticket. However, there’s also something to be said for challenging an audience to go a bit outside of their comfort zone and try something new, or to take a chance on an unknown writer/actor/director/etc. and shine a spotlight on them, and I just don’t think that will happen if the audience is calling all the shots. I agree with Kevin that it would bring about a lowest common denominator dynamic that is pretty unappealing.

    Now, if we could just apply this to the Tony Awards….maybe we’d get to see all of the awards presented.

    Then again, maybe they’d just scroll the winners across the bottom of the screen, and it would be nothing but production numbers.

    The non-profit theater company that I am a company member of invites members of the community (read: open to the public) to join their play reading series (like a book club), where they distribute copies of scripts for reading and discussion.

    From that pool of community members, they draw upon the more active and insightful members to join the programming committee (because they’re people who obviously love to read plays and discuss them!) and each year, the artistic director puts forth a list of plays and musicals for the programming community to consider, as well as sends out a call to the local creative community to put together proposals for new work or to propose shows that they’ve always wanted to direct. They review the proposals, read the plays, and then the artistic director works with the programming committee to curate the season. We usually wind up with a musical or two, one “classic” play, and 2-3 plays that are relatively new, and a slate of new works get readings or workshop productions.

    How did that work out?

    This season:
    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD written by CHRISTOPHER SERGEL based on the novel by HARPER LEE
    DREAMGIRLS music by HENRY KRIEGER lyrics & book by TOM EYEN

  • Dan Albanello says:

    That’s what my friend Mike Isaacson at the Muny (11,000 seat outside venue) in St. Louis does. During one of the shows for the week, there is an insert in the playbill with a list of 20-30 shows the audience can choose from as choices for the next season’s shows. People can also go on line at The Muny and choose. BTW he just won the Tony for Fun Home so he knows what he’s doing. Cheers!

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