Everything’s coming Up Twitter: social media as research tool and ‘Text’

Rush, Adam (2016) Everything’s coming Up Twitter: social media as research tool and ‘Text’. In: 'Putting it Together': Investigating Sources for Musical Theatre Research, 10-12 May 2016, University of Sheffield.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Just as popular culture diversifies audience engagement across various platforms, social media has enabled musical theatre fans to extend their relationship with a production in a multifaceted, participatory fashion. From understudy announcements to ticket deals and customer complaints, various online platforms supply immediate updates and provide a direct connection between the audience, cast and creative team of most major musicals. Whether streets away from the theatre or halfway across the globe, audiences can expand their (presumed) agency through a participatory relationship, hence increasing their emotional investment and fandom, through social media.
Though musical theatre and social media might seem worlds apart (one is traditional, live and typically frequented by older audiences, whilst the other is digital and relatively modern), they are inextricably linked and require further consideration within scholarship. In particular, scholars have yet to decipher the critical utility of social media and how it might manifest itself as ‘text’. After all, social media is unable to be documented in any sufficient form, due to its inherent bias and anonymous nature, yet provides an essential marketing platform worthy of analysis. Accordingly, this paper proposes that social media is a valuable academic source for scholars of the contemporary musical and remains central to a production’s intertextual fabric by expanding audience engagement and demographic. In drawing upon numerous recent examples, including The Book of Mormon and Miss Saigon, this paper presents social media as a valuable source which seems inherently problematized when labelled as ‘text’.

Additional Information:An international conference in honour of Stephen Banfield
Keywords:Musical Theatre, Intertextuality, Social Media, Marketing, Audiences
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:23217
Deposited On:31 May 2016 16:59

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