Jay Cruz & IFT Network
Host Luisa Lyons chats with Jay Cruz, entrepreneur, marketing executive, and CEO & founder of the Indie Film Theater Network, or IFT Network.
Jay shares his journey to working in the world of theatre, IFT’s three pronged approach to streaming theatre — including a writing room, production and marketing, and streaming — and insights into the making of filmed theatre.
Jay Cruz is an Award Winning Advertising Marketing Executive (ADWEEK: HBO 2010), and Customer Service Expert. He has produced Independent Films, Off-Broadway Theater, and Various Themed Shows and Live Events. As the CEO/Founder of IFT Network, Jay is dedicated to empowering Independent Filmmakers & Theater Producers around the globe. “My passion is creating new and exciting original experiences, while creating opportunities for diverse, and talented people.”
This week I had the pleasure of attending “What is Reality?” - a Musical Theatre Factory salon hosted by XR Creative Producer Brandon Powers and MTF Artistic Director Brisa Areli Muñoz. The salon explored the world of XR, or Extended Reality, which encompasses virtual reality and augmented reality. Lena Wolfe was also in attendance demonstrating work combining dance, 3D depth scanning, and body tracking.
Brandon Powers and Lena Wolfe have both shared their insights into the ever-growing world of virtual and augmented reality and musical theatre on the podcast.
The evening featured short excerpts from new musicals in development that are incorporating XR — including a musical created entirely in the world of The Sims — and a thoughtful and inspiring panel with digital creators.
I tried a virtual headset for the first time, the Oculus Quest 2, and experienced the beautiful short musical From Sea to Rising Sea by Mary John Frank and Sigin Ojulu. The piece was filmed in the gorgeous Channel Islands off the coast of California, and I truly felt like I was swimming in the ocean. From Sea to Rising Sea is being toured to schools and providing workshops focused on climate change, theatre making, and taking actionable steps to mitigate rising sea levels.
From Sea to Rising Sea is available for free here, and you can enjoy the film even if you don't have access to a VR headset.
The evening was exciting, fun, diverse, and a wonderful showcase of the possibilities of combining technology with musical theatre. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Want to experience more musicals in 360º? Check out this earlier blog post to watch clips from Come From Away, Waitress, Aladdin, and more!
Host Luisa Lyons chats with Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams, composers of RIDE: A New Musical which was filmed live during its run at the Charing Cross Theatre in 2022 and is now available to stream on demand.
Hear about the show’s journey from workshop to fully staged production, how professionally filming the workshop helped in re-writes, the casting process, and what’s next for the two-hander musical!
Freya Smith and Jack Williams are award-winning composers and lyricists, and founders of Bottle Cap Theatre. Their work focuses on telling female led stories and includes musicals RIDE (The Garrick, 2021) and THE LIMIT (VAULT Festival 2019). They are the joint winners of Aria Entertainment and ALP's Chamber Musical commission (2021).
Their work has been performed at venues including: The Garrick, The Other Palace, The Roundhouse and The Leicester Square Theatre, and has been developed with drama schools including Central School of Speech and Drama and ArtsEd.
In 2021 Freya received a Michael Grandage Futures Bursary and took up a writing residency at Norwich Theatre Royal.
Watch RIDE: A New Musical on Broadway on Demand.
Listen to Freya and Jack’s first interview on the Filmed Live Musicals podcast.
Learn about the history RIDE: A New Musical in the database
Bottle Cap Theatre: www.bottlecaptheatre.com
Bottle Cap Theatre on Twitter
Freya Catrin Smith on Twitter
Jack Williams on Twitter
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