StarKid Productions

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Name: StarKid Productions, Team StarKid
Date(s): 2009–present
Profit/Nonprofit: profit
Country based in: USA
Focus: musical theater, YouTube
External Links: http://www.teamstarkid.com/index.html

https://www.youtube.com/user/StarKidPotter/

http://teamstarkid.bandcamp.com/
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StarKid Productions (also Team StarKid) is a musical theater company based out of Los Angeles, CA. They were formed at the University of Michigan in 2009, moved to Chicago in 2011, and moved to LA in 2017.

As of May 2020, StarKid have performed and released to YouTube 12 musicals, produced two sketch comedy shows at Chicago’s Second City, gone on two national tours, and released 13 albums.[1]

See the official Wikipedia page for more details.[2]

Mission

According to their website:

StarKid represents a coalition of writers, directors, actors and designers dedicated to creating accessible, quality theater for the modern era. StarKid is pioneering the use of the internet as a new and innovative way to produce theater, making it accessible to millions of people around the world. The art of live performance blended with the accessibility and quality of HD filming has created a new world of distribution and opportunity for theater.[2]

Shows

StarKid rose to fame with their 2009 Harry Potter parody A Very Potter Musical (starring Darren Criss, pre-Glee), and since then they have remained true to their parodying ways, in addition to writing original musicals.

Their other shows are:

Musicals

Sketch Comedy

  • Airport for Birds [And Other Great Ideas] (2013)
  • 1 Night 2 Last 3 Ever (2014)

Concert Tours


Some of StarKid's other fannish works include parodies of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, (here, most footage is now lost), and Sherlock and Doctor Who sketches at the Quidditch World Cup in 2013.[3] [4] An "improvised parody" sketch called Yes, I AM Afraid of the Dark was performed in fall 2015.[3]

During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, Starkid has livestreamed readings of several film scripts, including Scream, Hocus Pocus, and Addams Family Values.

Fandom/Interaction

StarKid has developed a small but loyal fandom of their own, and StarKid has appropriately remained very engaged with fans online and offline. They have hosted Google Hangouts,[4] most of their important announcements come as YouTube videos, and their Twitter account is very active.

They also regularly attend fan events, especially in the Harry Potter fandom,[5] and they usually stayed after SPACE Tour and Apocalyptour shows to meet fans.[6][7]

An article on Storyboard addresses the appeal of StarKid and its fandom:

StarKid also defines a fandom unto itself, layered with multiplex crossover fans from other genres that come together to celebrate the transformative work of the original StarKids. One feeds the other, and on and on. There are so many layers that just because you understand or are aware of the complexities or in-jokes of a one aspect doesn’t mean you get them all, and that’s the beauty. …

The show itself reads as a love letter less to the text of Harry Potter and more to the StarKid and Harry Potter fandom, a community that Team StarKid became an unexpected standard-bearer for when their first show went viral. Harry Potter was no special topic to them beyond the fact that creator Nick Lang thought it would be funny to bend the constructs of the world to fit to the humor of his group of friends (mostly dick and fart jokes). Stereotypical boy stuff. The first musical was an exploration of that — strong male friendship through a re-imagination of Harry’s quest. In that way, just as the original Harry Potter series appeals to the mechanisms of die-hard fandom, these musicals hit the correct note to inspire fervored fandom. …

StarKid shows are like a living Tumblr Dashboard; a reference to Spider-Man or Twilight can coexist next to an off-color joke or an adorable kitten. Fans identify with that juxtaposition, plus the fact that these are both jokes and deadly serious in equal measure.

“The thing about StarKid that I just love the most is that it’s equally making fun of something, but loving it at the same time,” explained Emily, who had a more than 20-hour flight from Australia to Chicago to be a part of the event. “And to be able to use the things we love and make fun of them I think is a really unique quality to this fandom. No one is offended or anything like that. Everyone is just having the best time they can.”[8]

StarKid's shows in Chicago regularly sold out, but to protect fans who were unable to make it to the shows in person, attendees were asked not to reveal anything about the show before it was posted to YouTube.[9] The Trail To Oregon! included an audience-participation element, where audience members voted to see which character would die at the end; to give internet fans this same experience, StarKid recorded and published each death, so internet viewers can choose for themselves (or, in most cases, watch them all).

Starkid has made several of their shows available to fans during their original runs through digital tickets, where fans can pay to stream an unedited recording of the show for several days. The practice is generally positively received by the fandom, many of whom see it as a way to make the original runs accessible to people who cannot see them in person. Sharing or bootlegging a digital ticket is widely discouraged, especially considering a tweet where the team said that if people were just going to bootleg digital tickets, they wouldn't release them anymore.[10] Some fans count GIFing content from them or including footage in compilation videos on Youtube as bootlegging.

Starting with Twisted, StarKid began to fund their musicals through Kickstarter. Their Kickstarter campaign for their tenth anniversary, which funded the Starkid Homecoming reunion concert as well as their upcoming horror comedy musical Black Friday, raised $547,439, making it the most funded theater Kickstarter campaign as of May 2019. [11]

Twisted, Firebringer, and The Trail to Oregon can all be licensed for production.[12]. Both Firebringer and the Trail to Oregon have all ages editions that cut out some swearing and sexual content and cuts can be made to Twisted. The Very Potter Musical trilogy will never be available for licensing due to an agreement with Warner Brothers that only Team Starkid can perform them. There are plans to license The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, but it is not yet available as of May 2020.

References=

  1. teamstarkid.com, Musicals, Comedy Shows, Tours Albums
  2. teamstarkid.com, ABOUT
  3. Team Starkid presents: Yes, I AM Afraid of the Dark
  4. YouTube, Team StarKid "Hangouts On Air" Playlist
  5. They have attended the last six LeakyCon/GeekyCons, and performed A Very Potter Senior Year at LeakyCon 2012.[1]
  6. LaurenLopez1, It was so great to meet some of you before and after the show!, 7 June 2012
  7. sarahhahearnn, I was able to see them come out after SPACE tour, tweet on 13 May 2012
  8. storyboard, A Very StarKid Harry Potter Fandom Celebration, August 2012 Tumblr post
  9. geekchic0017, March 24, 2012 Tumblr post says, "I can’t give you any specifics about the show (confidentiality agreement)"
  10. Everyone just be cool, m'kay?, tweet from @TeamStarKid, November 7, 2019
  11. StarKid's 10niversary Celebration, Kickstarter
  12. Licensing, teamstarkid.com