The Launch of Thespie

The launch of a new, online discovery platform for theatre and the performing arts is being hailed as a lifeline for both theatre audiences and the industry today. The first of its kind, Thespie helps people engage with the arts across a broad spectrum of digital media while venues around the
world remain closed due to social distancing measures resulting from Covid-19.

Thespie aggregates listings of digital theatre resources in a structured, easy to navigate discovery experience. Users can filter to their favourite genres, browse for specific moods and maintain a list of things they want to save for later.

The platform features a diverse array of over 1000 resources – available either onsite, or by linking directly to a partner’s website. Users can watch livestream play performances, movie musicals, or artist talks; listen to audio dramas, musical theatre concerts, or theatre podcasts; discover theatre ebooks, scripts or digital songbooks; or explore digital exhibits, student guides, or family activities related to theatre. Click HERE to see a list of content highlights currently listed on Thespie.

Thespie facilitates discovery across genres and media formats, and is underpinned by a bespoke Arts taxonomy and data model, which uses a machine learning algorithm to identify similarities between works and facilitate discovery across the site – akin to Netflix.

Thespie not only enables arts practitioners to distribute and self-monetise their work by reaching and engaging with new audiences, it makes it easy for those stuck at home craving culture to discover and access the rich variety of arts content available online from across the world.

Thespie founder, Tyler Stoops, has spent his career at the intersection of technology and the arts and is passionate about increasing people’s engagement with theatre. His early career spanned technical theatre, artistic planning and technology projects at two of the world’s most prestigious opera institutions, the Santa Fe Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. An MBA at the Wharton School led him to the Walt Disney Studios and then seven years at e-commerce giant Amazon during which time Tyler worked across Kindle, publishing, brick-and-mortar bookstores, and a theatre ticketing business.

Commenting on the launch, Tyler Stoops said: “I’ve been so humbled by the generosity of spirit displayed by artists and theatre-makers during this crisis, and our ambition at Thespie is to amplify their work so it can reach as broad an audience as possible. When Covid-19 hit, we quickly saw that building Thespie’s work to a global, multimedia scale could help audiences continue their journey of exploring theatre during this time where we can’t be together in person.”

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