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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Broadway shows have long been marked by their high ticket prices that many can’t afford, and their inaccessibility to people outside of New York, resulting in lots of people missing out on truly amazing performances. I think it’s time that changed. 

I have participated in theater productions for most of my life, and every show has become one of my favorite memories. Getting to sing and dance along to beautiful music and act out scenes that make audience members laugh and tear up? Nothing can compare. 

I began seeing shows as an audience member in elementary school, watching the Academy of Music’s Broadway Series shows with my family. This theater has enabled us to see spectacular performances of some of my favorite Broadway shows, like Finding Neverland and Waitress, without having to travel to New York. The convenient location of the Academy of Music is definitely a plus, but it’s still worth noting that their ticket prices aren’t exactly cheap, either– a lot of tickets cost over $100. The theater does offer some discounts for certain shows and seats that have a partially blocked view, and their community rush tickets have allowed me to see shows for as little as $35 a ticket. While I wish their shows could be even more affordable, I’ll still take $35 over $100 any day. 

When I saw my very first on-Broadway show only a year and a half ago, I really began to notice the expenses of enjoying live theater. I saved up my money for a few months and was able to purchase tickets for my family and I to take a bus to New York to see another favorite of mine: Dear Evan Hansen. The show was amazing, but the expenses and travel required made it almost feel like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Broadway offers plenty of their own discounts for tickets, but my short time in New York made me realize how difficult it can be to see one of these stunning shows in the Theater District. 

Depending on the show and the seat, Broadway tickets can cost hundreds of dollars. Adding in the price of a bus to New York (or parking and gas if driving myself) makes it barely affordable. And I can only imagine how expensive it must be for out-of-state people who have to pay for flights and hotels in addition to their show tickets. 

The expensive tickets, as well as the location that is inaccessible for many, make proshots (professionally shot films of Broadway shows) a great way to bring more audience members into the theater community. Hamilton, Waitress, and Newsies are all examples of shows that were filmed on stage and released to the public (in theaters or on a streaming platform like Disney+). Because the shows still take place on stages, it almost feels like watching a musical just as you would in a theater. The main differences are that you are watching a show for much less money and in the comfort of your own home. 

It is completely worth filming these shows and releasing them to the general public. A working mother who can’t afford the time or money it would take to get to Broadway is now able to see herself represented by Waitress’ Jenna when she has downtime at night. Similarly, longtime fans of Newsies from the West Coast can watch their favorite characters and songs performed without leaving their homes. In essence, filming and releasing more proshots allow the people who musicals are actually made for to experience them.  

I don’t think the production of proshots would hurt ticket sales, either. After seeing Waitress at the movie theater, all I could think about was how much I wanted to see it again performed live. Seeing proshots will encourage people to invest in Broadway tickets because they’ll already know that they love the show. And people who already live in New York, or can easily afford tickets, probably won’t be leaving the theaters any time soon. Even without having watched a filmed version of a show, plenty of people will likely still be willing to spend money on Broadway tickets to experience the rush of emotions that come with seeing live theater. 

I still believe that Broadway ticket prices should be lowered to help potential audience members see themselves represented on stage and be able to laugh and cry with their favorite characters without breaking the bank. But filming these shows professionally would be a step in the right direction. I’ve loved every filmed Broadway show I’ve watched, and I think it’s very important that more be produced. People who don’t have a financial surplus or are not from New York should be able to access this form of art. Releasing proshots and lowering Broadway ticket prices are the ways to do just that. 

Maggie Salter is an opinion writer for Temple University's Her Campus chapter. She writes about her love of reading, television, and running and shares her personal experiences as a transfer student. Outside of writing for Her Campus, Maggie does a lot of work with Temple University's television station. Since transferring, she has become a writer for Temple Tonight, a late night tv show. She has also worked as a crew member for other programs, including the women-led We Need to Talk, and has recently joined Temple Update as a social media producer. At her previous university, she developed her writing skills by working as a peer tutor in the writing center and taking a playwriting course that enabled her to win first place in a one-act play competition. Currently, Maggie is a junior Media Studies and Production student at Temple University and hopes to pursue a career involving writing and television. In her free time, Maggie enjoys being outside and going on scenic runs while listening to Taylor Swift, especially Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). She also loves reading romance and fantasy novels and watching comedies. Maggie enjoys seeing musicals at the Kimmel Center and loves to sing show tunes in the car as much as possible.