How can you connect with other theatregoers? Which are the most active facebook groups and online forums? Where can fans meet when the stage door closes? We’ve been trawling t’interweb for the best places to hang out with likeminded thesps…
The Musical Theatre Appreciation Society
This utterly fabulous facebook group is 19,000 members strong and growing. I love how passionate people get here and boy do MTAS members know their stuff. Sometimes debate gets a little heated, but that’s what happens when creative minds get together.
The Great British Amateur Theatre hub
This active facebook page is a great place to publicise your local theatre group as well as find out about companies that you can get involved with, both on-stage and off. Amateur Theatre has moved on so much in the past few decades thanks to advances in lighting, design and sound and many West End performers started on their journeys this way.
Musicals Dot Net
While there’s not so much chatting in real time, musicals.net forums offer a comprehensive list of shows to pass comment on or ask questions about, from “Where can I find the orchestrations of Les Miserables” to “What’s a great monologue for an Anything Goes audition”.
UK Theatre Network
Exchange thoughts and ideas with 8,000 other members in this facebook group. Even though it’s a closed group, anyone can request to join and it’s well worth it…UK Theatre Network members are diverse and knowledgeable and have a personal and unusual slant on all forms of theatre.
Theatre Lovers Group
Small, niche facebook group. Terrific for announcements of new shows whether that be West End, Fringe or elsewhere in the UK. Theatre Lovers Group has news, reviews, previews, interviews, opportunities, jobs and networking for all theatre goers and practitioners.
The Broadway Babylon facebook group is primarily focused on North American Theatre, but it’s a fascinating way to keep your ear to the ground and to find out about what’s hot on the Great White Way – and what may be coming our way sometime soon!
The Theatre Board is a hotbed of activity with tens of thousands of posts to browse on a whole variety of subjects. Choose from General Chat, Musicals, Plays, Opera and Dance etc. Join in a thread or start your own. Light blue touch-paper and retire to a safe distance to watch the fireworks!
Broadway World’s West End message board
It sounds counter-intuitive, but Broadway World has a fab West End board especially for news and discussion of new shows hitting the West End. There’s also an Off Topic and, less surprisingly, a Broadway Board!
Talkin’ Broadway – All That Chat
At first, this page of discussion threads looks a bit old-fashioned (it’s rather like the old Dress Circle message board if anyone remembers that). Talkin’ Broadway’s All That Chat is geared almost exclusively to US Theatre. Don’t let that put you off – in fact it’s an amazing way to keep one step ahead of shows which are likely to make their way to the UK sooner…or later.
Theatre Bubble is an online hub giving the inside view of UK theatre. News, reviews, interviews, guides and opinion. This group exists for you to share your experiences of theatre, ask advice of your peers, to meet, discuss and create.
Getting involved in online Theatre Forums is an amazing way to keep your knowledge up-to-date. It’s also a great way make friends with like-minded theatre buddies. Do beware of trolls – some online forum members do delight in stirring things up. All you need to do is either ignore them or simply agree and they normally go away. Trolls hate knowing you’re not annoyed!
One of the biggest challenges for any online community is growing and maintaining its membership. Contributors will only keep coming back for as long as the room or page is busy, with others constantly arriving to join in the discussion. Many great boards have come and gone and often it’s the ones with the fiercest debates that endure…as we know very well!
So tell the world about your favourite forums. We’d love to know where you hang out and by helping spreading the word, your favourite groups will grow and grow and grow.
Eat, breathe and sleep show tunes? You could be a Musical Theatre Superfan!