My Favourite Theatre YouTube Channels, Podcasts & Web Shows!

I love a lot of theatre blogs and I love a lot of theatre websites, but today's post isn't going to focus on either of those things. Instead, I want to talk about my favourite "alternative" theatre outlets and share that list with you: web shows, YouTube channels and podcasts. While it's always fun to read about theatre when you come home, I think there's also a lot to say and praise about theatre commentary and content in other, more diverse mediums, too.

Okay, well I know that putting some of my internet friends at the top of this list may look like an alternative agenda, but I promise you that that isn't my intention here. I actually became friends with Rukaya through discovering her YouTube channel and falling in love with her content and (don't let her ego boost too much over this comment) I have seen every single video she has ever posted... in my defence, I discovered here when she'd only made a limited number of videos, but still. Rukaya has such a talent for creating good quality vlogs and video content, it's just a bonus that they're theatre related!

I bundle my friends Olivia and Sam together here not because they produce similar content (in fact, the two of them are drastically different in what they produce), but they both create YouTube content on other things beside theatre, which provides a refreshing break if you're also a fan of their (amazing) personalities. Olivia makes a lot of lifestyle content in addition to her theatre vlogs (she also has an amazing theatre blog called Rewrite This Story) and Sam makes an incredibly high volume of very long Disney vlogs. I love lifestyle and Disney videos and I love the two of these ladies and the fantastic content they produce, so I'm sure that you will as well.

Rukaya, Sam and I at a press event for Half a Sixpence earlier in the year

I discovered my friend Danny on YouTube absolutely ages ago, before I'd even started Shaun's Musical Musings and because he made video reviews of Broadway shows, I was instantly hooked. What I realised as I watched more of his videos though was that his commentary is one that I find myself trusting implicitly. A theatre reviewer (I hesitate to use the word "critic" because not everyone likes it) who sees a lot of theatre off of their own back always provides a more honest and brutal opinion, which is something I'm always on the lookout for. Danny provides just that and his long-term experience as a theatregoer makes his opinions educated and reliable as well.

To round my list of YouTubers off, I thought I'd mention my latest find in the world of theatre vloggers: American YouTuber Katherine Steele. While Katherine naturally makes a lot of her videos for a clique of theatre fans that I am not a part of (Broadway theatre fans of shows like Next to Normal, Dear Evan Hansen and Be More Chill), I still find her content interesting and entertaining to watch. Her bubbly personality is especially delightful and she's the kind of person who I'd happily watch talk about anything just to be infected with her sense of optimism.

I am a massive podcast fan (obviously, I have two of my own) so theatre podcasts are something I've delved into a lot as well, but few of them really grasp my attention. In the words of my podcast Opening Doors, "I am always fascinated by the process" and Broadway Backstory embodies just that. Patrick Hinds of Theater People teamed up with TodayTix to bring us a podcast that looks at a wide variety of different shows as they make their journey from the mind of the creator to a full Broadway production. And the show has looked at some of my favourite musicals, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Legally Blonde. If you're interested in theatre history or anything to do with the industry, this podcast is a must-listen.

I really want one of these mugs that TodayTix have in their office for Broadway Backstory

And if you like the writing side of the business, you couldn't even book a masterclass that provides you with as much information as this does. Simon Stephens speaks with a bunch of amazing playwrights in great detail each episode in a podcast produced by the Royal Court with its main purpose being to educate people about the writing process. Need I say any more about this? It's one of my favourite podcasts of all time period.

Talking of getting a good insight into the business, I don't think there's any sort of long-form documentary that will give you as much insight into the world of theatre as this series does. Created by the American Theatre Wing (the Broadway version of SOLT) for their YouTube channel, the series is a collection of over 150 half-hour-long videos looking deep into the different facets of the theatre community. If you want to be a part of the business in any way, it's a must-watch.

In New York, this show shows on television, but in the rest of the world, we only get to see it through the official YouTube channel, so I'm going to regard it as a web show in this instance. Initially hosted by Michael Riedel as well as Susan Haskins, this Emmy-winning talk show sees Susan Haskins and a rotating alternate guest host talk to stars and creators in the American theatre scene about their work; it's basically a very high-brow version of The One Show but centred around theatre. I love it and never miss an episode and I think there's something in there for everybody.

Derek Klena (*swoon*) and Paul Wontorek on the latest episode of Show People

Or if you're looking for something a bit more This Morning-style then Show People from is the way to go. Hosted by the site's Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek, Show People is a chat show focused around one special guest each episode. Having returned for a new season this week, the show is approaching its 200th episode, which is a mortifying thought when I realised that I have literally watched every single episode ever made... hmm. I'm sure you've checked it out already, but if you haven't then I highly recommend it. And if that's not the kind of thing that you're looking for, the YouTube Channel has a lot of other brilliant content for you to browse instead.

Is there anything I'm missing from my list? I'm not asking in that annoying "let me know in the comments" way, but I genuinely want to know so I can broaden my horizons on this front! Either tweet me over at @shaunycat and let me know, or be sure to comment down below instead.

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