Michael Barra on How Big Media is Disrupting Broadway

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michaelbarra
Michael Barra, President of Media & Entertainment at The Araca Group

Today on The Scene my guest is Michael Barra, the President of Araca Media and Entertainment, the content studio division of The Araca Group — the global live stage and brand management company (behind such properties as Urinetown and Wicked) with offices in NYC, LA, London, Sydney and Las Vegas. Prior to Araca, Michael led the Strategic Operational Initiatives team at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, as well as the Business Development and Franchise Management efforts for the Disney Theatrical Group in NY. He was also the founder of Stageworks Media, which partnered with branded media companies to adapt their intellectual property for the stage, before selling it to private equity firm Rebel Rebel Capital in 2014. Additionally, Michael is a contributor to The Clyde Fitch Report and is the current President of The Players, the Gramercy Park social club for the entertainment industry founded by Edwin Booth in 1888.

In a December 5 article on the CFR titled “How the Rise of Big Media Is Disrupting Broadway” Michael examined how Broadway is changing in response to new developments in the film and television industry and the new limitations of traditional producing models for live commercial theater. The piece was such a wealth of insight we’ve decided to continue that discussion in podcast form, looking at who’s producing new work, how branding and franchising are becoming increasingly important for a show’s continued life and what role digital recording is going to play in theater’s future.

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Sean Douglass

Sean Douglass is the Managing Editor of The Clyde Fitch Report, as well as an author, playwright and dramaturg. He is the Company Dramaturg for Something Marvelous, Chicago’s annual magical realism festival, and has previously worked at Northlight Theatre and Chicago Dramatists. His plays have been produced or developed at UW-Madison, The Vermont College of Fine Arts, The Chicago Fringe Festival, Luminous Theatre of Milwaukee, Something Marvelous, Chicago Dramatists and Stagecloud. He hosts the CFR’s podcast The Scene and is also an arts writer for the digital news publication Rantt.