We live in exciting times. There are now multiple companies offering what is essentially Netflix for theatre. While we still can’t stream currently-running Broadway or West End shows, there is plenty of filmed live content out there for us to (legally) get our theatre fix!
Here, in alphabetical order, are companies providing online streaming of filmed live musicals content. All subscription prices are in America dollars, except for Digital Theatre which is listed in British pounds.
Search "live musicals" on AmazonPrime, and you can find many filmed live musical titles including Spongebob, Newsies, and RENT: Filmed Live on Broadway.
Subscription Cost: Varies - some are included with an AmazonPrime subscription, some are available to rent or buy
Where to Watch: www.amazon.com
Founded in 2015 by Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, BroadwayHD aims to provide “the best of Broadway and beyond!” The service currently has over 50 filmed live musicals in the catalogue, with content from Broadway, off-Broadway, the West End, and regional American performances. Other content includes documentaries, plays, Cirque du Soleil, theatre in languages other than English, and concerts. Some titles can also be accessed through an Amazon Prime subscription.
Subscription Cost: $8.99 per month or $99.99 for 1 year
Free Trial: 7 days
Where to Watch: www.broadwayhd.com
Founded in 2014 by Brazilian producer Harry Fernandes, Cennariam offers “Performing arts from around the world in high definition for you to watch anytime, from anywhere.” The site currently has 10 musicals on offer, and claims to be adding new content every week. Titles include Dangerous Liasions, Debussy Alone on Stage, and Tanguera, the Argentine Musical. Most musicals are in languages other than English with subtitles. In addition to musical theatre, Cennariam offers circus, comedy, concerts, dance, documentary, drama, interviews, and opera.
Subscription Cost: US$9.97 per month or $95.64 for 1 year
Free Trial: 10 days
Where to Watch: www.cennarium.com. Some productions are also available on Amazon Prime in the US.
Founded in 2009 by British entrepreneurs Robert Delamere and Tom Shaw, Digital Theatre is a leader in providing on-demand theatre content. The site currently has 5 filmed live musicals, including the Regent’s Park Open Air production of Into the Wood, two in-development Perfect Pitch productions, and a new musical, Pieces of String. Other theatre content includes productions from the RSC, and Stage Russia, and content from the West End and across the United Kingdom.
Subscription Cost: £9.99 a month, or rent individual productions for £7.99
Free Trial Offer: not available
Where to Watch: www.digitaltheatre.com
Great Performances on PBS
The multi-award winning PBS television program Great Performances specializes in showcasing performing arts from around the world. Current musicals include the Broadway production of Holiday Inn, and the West End productions of 42nd Street, Kinky Boots, The King and I, and An American in Paris. Other content includes concerts, plays, and documentaries.
Subscription Cost: $5 per month or $60 for 1 year
Free Trial: n/a
Where to Watch: www.pbs.org/show/great-performances/
Founded in 2007 by Australian entrepreneur Olivia Humphrey, Kanopy partners with universities and public libraries to provide free movie streaming. There are over 30 movie musicals currently available through the site, though no filmed live musicals. In addition to a wide range of cinema titles (including 400 titles from the Criterion Collection), there is plenty of theatre content, including Shakespeare, Chekhov, and productions from Stage Russia.
Subscription Cost: free with a library card
Free Trial: n/a
Where to Watch: www.kanopy.com (To find theatre content, go to Browse: The Arts: Performing Arts: Theatre Performance)
Founded by Rich Affannato, Stage offers a range of theatrical content in the form of original series, interviews, and documentaries.
Subscription Cost: $47.88 annual subscription, or $4.99 per month. Use code GETWELLSOON for 50% off (valid until Broadway re-opens!).
Free Trial: 7 day trial
Where to Watch: www.watchstage.com/
If you’re a student, check if your institution has access to the platforms below to gain access to more streamable theatre content!
A plethora of resources from around the world including scripts, performance videos, and design archives. The site also provides access to some BroadwayHD content.
Digital Theatre +
Digital Theatre for educational institutions includes lesson planning and behind-the-scenes content and interviews.
Know of other (legal) streaming sites? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or on Facebook!
(This post was originally published in May, 2018. Updated March, 2020).