Social Media and Broadway

By Terrance Sowells Kemp

Photo: Playbill

In todays world we see social media everywhere we go. Social media has become such a prominent factor in everyones lives that many different brands have found some way to incorporate it into their products, especially television and news networks. One area that we have not seen social media be used in a prominent way is in the theater.


Photo: Pasek and Paul

We have all heard of the popular broadway show that has taken the world by storm, Hamilton. We see our friends and celebrities raving about how great the show is on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Currently the hashtag #BoycottHamilton is currently trending on Twitter. But Hamilton or any other Broadway show has mad an attempt to truly take advantage of it. That is, until now.

A new musical has been added to Broadway, called Dear Evan
. In Dear Evan Hansen social media is very prominent role in the events of the story. 17 year old outcast Even Hansen, played by Pitch Perfect‘s Ben Platt, is wrongly characterized as the sole friend of another student who has recently committed suicide.  Through fake emails, YouTube videos and Tweets, Evan Hansen is able to fabricate a relationship with his deceased classmate in order to gain popularity.

Photo: Pasek and Paul

The backdrop of Dear Evan Hansen is made up of oversized phones and computer screens with tweets as the characters react to the musical numbers and events of the musical. The stage is somewhat minimalistic compared to other musicals and stage plays.

The play is ultimately about how social media is able to sway opinions, change circumstances and spark connections in both good and bad ways. The story shows how social media can turn lies into truths and losers into heroes.

Not only does Dear  Evan Hansen revolve around social media, it also uses it as a means of promotion. The musicals producer, Stacey Mindich, has admitted that she hasn’t spent a lot on marketing and that the musical mostly relies on word-of-mouth of it’s viewers. She even set up a “Influencer Night” during previews where she invited Silicon Valley executives and other digital tastemakers to gain both feedback and to discuss online strategy for the future.

The show has already gained great reviews and has been endorsed by  celebrities before it’s official opening on Broadway.

Dear Evan Hansen opens on Broadway on December 4. 



“As ‘Hamilton’ Rules Broadway’s Social Media, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Digs Deeper.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <;.

Takiff, Jonathan. “Gizmo Guy: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Is Theater’s Take on Social Media.” N.p., 29 May 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <;.

Isherwood, Charles. “Review: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Puts a Twist on Teenage Angst.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 May 2016. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <;.

Paulson, Michael. “Second Stage Adds ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ To Spring Season.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2015. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. <;.

Twitter: Long Live Live?

By William Branch



“Twitter is live: live commentary, live conversation, live connections.”
-Twitter Chief Executive Officer, Jack Dorsey

As stated in the above NY Times article, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, began an initiative to create a more enjoyable user experience on Twitter. Implementing new measures to increase user activity and growth while ebbing its’ learning curve to make the platform less confusing. From offering selected tweets to reduce clutter of information to removing character limits for photos, videos and quotes Twitter sought to simplify and, maybe unintentionally, liken its service to Facebook.

In another bid to keep up with social networking sites such as Facebook and Snap Chat, Twitter has placed a heavier emphasis on live streaming. Inking a deal with the NFL to stream 10 games for free, as well as underscoring the value of its’ live streaming app, Periscope, Twitter looked to capitalize on a market YouTube cornered over a decade ago. Attracting over 200 million hosted broadcasts, Periscope, is viewed as an important advertising asset as companies experiment with its format. Blumhouse Films (Paranormal Activity) produced the first live horror film, Fifteen, on the platform, and General Electric created an ad campaign involving drone video footage. Jack Dorsey had high hopes that Twitter’s new status quo would ease pressures from shareholders and consumers, but following a year of ups and downs Twitter’s shares remain undervalued.

With reports of declined user interest creating drops in stock value Twitter is in need of a resurgence. Ironically, that resurgence may come in the form of a takeover. On Friday, September 23rd Twitter stock rose by 21% following the announcement that Google and Salesforce were among a list of potential buyers. However, details are scarce as chances of any deal being reached are slim.

As its’ fate hangs in the balance one thing is for certain; with a determined CEO at the helm and global notoriety, Twitter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


[@dolftown] Dalton, Andrew. (Twitter Removes Character Limit for Photos, Videos, and Quoites” Engadget, 19 Sept. 2016, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

[@drorgi] Ginzberg, Dror. “Twitter Scores with NFL Deal” Tech Crunch, 23 Sept. 2016, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

Isaac, Mike, Benner, Katie, and de la Merced, Michael J. “Twitter Will Offer Selected Tweets to Keep Users Coming Back” New York Times, 23 Sept. 2016, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

Isaac, Mike. “Twitter Will Offer Selected Tweets to Keep Users Coming Back” New York Times, 10 Feb. 2016, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

Isaac,Mike. “Twitter User Growth Stalls, and Chief Pledges to Make Fixes” New York Times, 10 Feb. 2016, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

Schaefer, Steve. “Twitter Takeover Talk Jolts Stock as Report Cites Google, Salesforce Interest” Forbes, 23 Sept. 2016, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

Sullivan, Mark. “Brands Embrace Periscope to Cut Through $60B Worth of Web Advertising Noise” Venture Beat, 5 Nov. 2015, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

Yeung, Ken. “Twitter’s Periscope Broadcasts 200 Million Streams in its First Year” Venture Beat, 28 March 2016, Accessed 24 Sept. 2016.

Periscope, a New Wave in Social Media?

Twitter is emerging as the go-to app,that allows you to see the world in “real time”. The 140 characters promote their users to post more frequent and concise messages. Twitter has become the new text, it’s easy to quickly send out a quick message to your followers, promoting more all day live tweeting. As a result of Twitter’s success with real time social media surfing, the newly created Periscope is starting to feel a similar sort of buzz.

Periscope is a live video broadcast app that allows viewers to comment and like content being streamed live. The videos that are streamed on Periscope can also be placed on Twitter, acting as a notification for people who own Periscope and those who don’t. The perceptual fit between the two companies is definitely noticeable, both are aimed to promote the production of real-time content. The opportunity for the outside world to get a real, raw depiction of someone’s life is available in both companies, making the two perfect for each other.periscope-logo-1920

Competition for video broadcasting apps are becoming very stiff, high competitors like Facebook are starting to see the advantage in the feature. Companies are beginning to see the promotion of “right now” social media activity is what’s popular at this time. In order to compete in the social media world, it is imperative to create play into the notion that users have to constantly post content. Periscope does a wonderful job at promoting content use, and having proper consumer interaction. Periscope gives the option for viewers to comment on live video that is available for everyone to see; focusing on not only real-time content but strong interaction as well, both are necessary for a good social media outlet. The company has just added the ability to draw during the live broadcast, another tool to promote interaction on the app. Sites like Twitter and Periscope will have a hand in the complete change of social media, starting a new revolution of real time, constant users.

Twitter’s Live-Streaming App ‘Periscope’ Surfaces To Compete With Meerkat

Down Periscope!: redefining “live” media

By Brandon Maahs

The last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of utilizing the new app that’s starting to take flight in popularity with journalists, bloggers, and travelers around the world. While just under a year old, being released in Spring in 2015, the app now boasts almost 10 million users that watch approximately “40 years” of footage a day.

As a musician, I discovered the app as a tool for master classes being held by Evan Evans, the son of famous jazz pianist Bill Evans. Evans the junior is a film composer in L.A., and will sign on to Periscope in his free time in order to take questions and show demonstrations from his studio. Since Periscope feeds are live for 24 hours after their filming, he can download these sessions, edit them into short movies, and post them to YouTube for his fans to watch later.

Periscope has more recently been used as a way for people on social media to immediately experience large-scale events. People in Belgium were immediately able to connect when a bomb went off earlier this week at a Brussel’s airport. This put viewers right at the scene of the crime to see how devastating the attack was, as opposed to seeing photographs after the dust had settled.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 10.04.36 PM

A still of Periscope live feeding a city sunset. Courtesy of Wikipedia’s entry on Periscope. 

Periscope is the next form of social media – as it was built by it’s founders in response to a protest in the middle east that they were witnessing and seeing live-tweeted in front of them. But the internet could not yet “put someone there” as if that someone were watching the event with their own eyes.

Facebook has also recently implemented a feature that functions as an alternate to a status – you can instead post a live video stream for people to stop and watch (courtesy of the aptly named Livestream.)

Periscope is absolutely an accessory people should have as a global citizen of the 21st century. As soon as a breaking event transpires in the news, people all over the world can jump to that location and experience it live. It humanizes disasters that we get desensitized to by distance and time, as well as the censored nature of news networks.


Facebook Taking on Periscope?


The Zuckerbrg ambition knows no boundaries. From buying the virtual reality platform Oculus to the text app what’sapp, the Facebook virus seems to be spreading at a manic rate. The news broke to today that Facebook’s new frontier is in live streaming video. Now this isn’t anything new, we have Periscope (owned by Twitter and Meerkat. Though Facebook is about to launch to the public it’s version called Facebook Live Video. This would allow users to stream video in real time, along with it being saved to the user’s profile after the stream was done. Pretty much the same as Periscope or Meerkat but with an added feature that saves the videos. Is that enough to set it apart from the competition?

        We all know that Facebook hasn’t had a massive failure yet, and they already have an established customer base in the billions, far more than the Periscope 10 million. Another positive in this new endeavor is the fact that they are going to integrate it into their existing Facebook app. No new app will need to be downloaded. This can lead to a lot of curiosity users and people trying it out just because its there. This could lead to an instant spike when it’s released but periscope has fostered a loyal customer base of users and audience who have shown to be loyal. You already comedians and other entertainers using periscope and building followings on it. Can a similar thing happen with this new Facebook feature? I don’t know, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months as it is rolled out to the public.


-Antonio Mendez

Is periscope a window to witness ton of illegal activity?

Amber Evetts

You may have heard of the girl who was arrested this week for not only drunk driving, but live-streaming it via the Periscope app. If you haven’t heard of this yet, look it up and prepare to witness one of the dumbest things you’ve ever seen. If you know what I’m talking about then you’re familiar with the fairly new app. Basically, Periscope lets anyone with the app live stream whatever they want to the world.

Periscope describes it as: “exploring the world through someone else’s eyes.”

23-year-old Whitney Beall arrested for drunk driving

While the app is just about a year old, the drunk driver isn’t the first time that someone has used the app to broadcast their less than legal activities to the world. There has been several instances of people exposing themselves via periscope, and even have shown themselves doing majorly illegal things like doing drugs.

I think the app is bizarre. I see very few opportune times for the app to shine – maybe if I stumbled upon a UFO abducting farm animals and I felt the need to show everyone that significant event immediately? That would be a time for Periscope I suppose… Or more realistically the app could play a cool role in major events. It does give people the opportunity to go to places all over the world simply by tuning in with their phone.

The app is an interesting idea. And maybe it does give people the ability to explore the world through someone else’s eyes, however, just like with anything, it can quickly turn sour in the hands of an idiot. I think people are going to have to be very careful about what they choose to share live – certainly more careful than people have been thus far.

How Police Used Periscope to Stop A Drunk Driver

Social media is typically used for entertainment purposes, marketing, sharing and staying connected with family and friends but one 23 year old woman in Lakeland, Florida used a social media platform called Periscope to incriminate herself. If you haven’t heard of Periscope, it’s an smartphone app, owned by Twitter, that works as a webcam where users can broadcast live videos to other users across the world! I myself personally use Periscope because it’s fun to see what’s going on both around the world and locally because I’ve been able to see events on periscope such as live concerts and people looking out for tornados, but I’ve never seen someone do what 23 year old Whitney Marie Beall chose to broadcast.

I found an article on PetaPixel which featured both the Periscope video as well as the recording from police once she was pulled over and arrested. I couldn’t agree more with the opening line of PetaPixel’s article which described her act as “In what will rank as one of the most disgraceful uses of social media in 2015…”. I watched the entire video and I couldn’t believe that this young woman would broadcast to the world that she was driving drunk, especially since she kept repeating that she hopes she doesn’t get a DUI. She ironically did end up being charged with a DUI, and to quote her exactly, she confessed “I’m driving home drunk, let’s see if I get a DUI”. The video goes back and forth between her point of view on the road and her face and at one point she claims to have a flat tire which police reported was from clipping a curb.

Luckily police were able to locate her after several Periscope users dialed 911 and gave police officers clues to her location. Unfortunately the Lakeland Police Department doesn’t provide their police officers with access to Periscope as a tool to stop crime which is why they didn’t have the ability to monitor Beall’s actions. Luckily officer Mike Kellner was able to use his own personal Periscope account to locate Whitney and eventually pulled her over and arrested her with a DUI after a failed sobriety test and refusal to the breathalyzer.  Lakeland police officers said this was a first for them and they are shocked by her decision to broadcast a dangerous crime to the world, but luckily no one was injured since they were able to stop her in time.

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