The launch of a new, online discovery platform for theatre and the performing arts is being hailed as a lifeline for both theatre audiences and the industry today. The first of its kind, Thespie helps people engage with the arts across a broad spectrum of digital media while venues around the world remain closed due to social distancing measures resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The platform features a diverse array of over one thousand resources - available either onsite, or by linking directly to a partner’s website. Users can watch livestream play performances, movie musicals or artist talks; listen to audio dramas, musical theatre concerts or theatre podcasts; discover theatre ebooks, scripts or digital songbooks; or explore digital exhibits, student guides or family activities related to theatre.
For a list of content highlights currently listed on Thespie, click here. Thespie features over 1,000 curated theatre shows and live performances from world-leading cultural institutions and content platforms, including National Theatre Live, Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Court Theatre, Met Opera, Audible, Disney and Amazon Prime.
Thespie facilitates discovery across genres and media formats, and is underpinned by a bespoke Arts taxonomy and data model, which uses a machine learning algorithm to identify similarities between works and facilitate discovery across the site - akin to Netflix.
Thespie founder, Tyler Stoops, has spent his career at the intersection of technology and the arts and is passionate about increasing people’s engagement with theatre. His early career spanned technical theatre, artistic planning and technology projects at two of the world’s most prestigious opera institutions, the Santa Fe Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. An MBA at the Wharton School led him to the Walt Disney Studios and then seven years at e-commerce giant Amazon during which time Tyler worked across Kindle, publishing, brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as a theatre ticketing business.
Commenting on the launch, Tyler Stoops said “I’ve been so humbled by the generosity of spirit displayed by artists and theatre-makers during this crisis, and our ambition at Thespie is to amplify their work so it can reach as broad an audience as possible. When Covid-19 hit, we quickly saw that building Thespie’s work to a global, multimedia scale could help audiences continue their journey of exploring theatre during this time where we can’t be together in person.”