20-time Emmy Award-winning HMS Media, Chicago’s premier video production company for the performing arts, is working on the cutting edge of new hybrid performing arts models emerging from the pandemic—which include frequent livestreamed and digital recordings to accompany live performances through 2021 and beyond, as performing arts organizations work to capitalize on the reach of their digital platforms and provide greater accessibility to audiences unable to visit in person.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down theaters in Chicago last spring, HMS Media has produced, filmed and edited more than 50 digital projects, including more than a dozen new virtual and livestreamed performing arts productions premiering this April and May. These works range from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Attila Highlights in Concert and Rising Stars in Concert (April 29 premiere) to Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s TO BE 4/23 (April 23), Music of the Baroque’s Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (April 26 livestream), the Harris Theater’s Beyond the Aria (April 27 premiere) and Writers Theatre’s The Last Match (April 28 opening). A full list of upcoming productions follows below.
“This past year, live performance captures and digital content didn’t just help performing arts organizations connect with existing audiences, they helped them grow new ones,” said Scott Silberstein, co-founder and executive producer of HMS Media. “At first it was about survival, and now it’s about flourishing. It’s our responsibility to make sure that the arts are captured and presented in ways that protect the intent of what happens on stage, while inviting national and international audiences to discover what we’ve known all along: that Chicago is an extraordinary arts city. As we move past the pandemic, both stage and screen will play vital roles in how the arts survive and flourish.”
HMS Media has a body of work spanning more than three decades. The company’s digital projects during the pandemic have ranged from star-studded benefit performances for The Actors Fund (“You’ve Got a Friend” with Carole King and the worldwide casts of Beautiful) and Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (“Sweet Home Chicago” featuring Keegan-Michael Key, Kurt Elling, Ramsey Lewis and André De Shields) to the online Broadway star-studded musical A Killer Party and new productions and concerts from Lyric Opera of Chicago, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Grant Park Music Festival, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Milwaukee Rep and Ballet San Antonio.
In April and May 2021, the following new digital productions will be released, all filmed and edited or livestreamed by HMS Media (with more to be announced):
· Lyric Opera of Chicago: Attila Highlights in Concert (now live)
· Chicago Shakespeare Theater: TO BE 4/23 (April 23)
Digital gala event with performances from the theater’s rooftop
· Music of the Baroque: Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (April 26 livestream)
Concert streamed live from the Harris Theater
· The Harris Theater: Beyond the Aria (April 27 premiere)
· Writers Theatre: The Last Match (April 28 opening)
- Lyric Opera of Chicago: Rising Stars in Concert (April 29 premiere)
Full-length digital gala event with performances
Concert streamed live from the North Shore Center
· Lyric Opera of Chicago: Celebrating Sir Andrew Davis, from Mozart to Stravinsky (May 16 premiere)
· Full season of American Players Theatre productions (May openings)
Digital productions available to audiences unable to attend in person
About HMS Media
20-time Emmy Award-winning HMS Media creates critically acclaimed performing arts specials, documentaries, commercials, virtual galas, development projects and marketing and press videos for Broadway shows, national tours, regional theater dance & music companies, service organizations and not-for-profit institutions, with a special emphasis on its hometown of Chicago.
PBS and WTTW specials include Chicago Voices, First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb; Dance For Life; Steppenwolf Theatre: 25 Years on the Edge; Second To None, Celtic Woman: Emerald, Songs On The Road To Freedom with Chicago Children’s Choir; Dance From The Heart with The Joffrey Ballet; three specials with River North Dance Chicago, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project: Getting There and Our City, Our Shakespeare.
HMS’ Broadway clients include Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Waitress, The Band’s Visit, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Fun Home, Jagged Little Pill, Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, The Producers, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera and more. Regional performing arts clients include Lyric Opera of Chicago, Lookingglass, Hubbard Street, Steppenwolf, Writers, The Guthrie, Second City, Goodspeed, Giordano Dance Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Drury Lane, Court, The Broadway League, SeeChicagoDance and The League of Chicago Theaters.
For more information, visit www.hmsmedia.com.