I was listening to The View today (It's on just before the 11am newscast I direct) and Glenn Close was talking about how doing a TV show is harder than doing movies or theatre because with the latter you've got a definite beginning, middle, and end that you can base your character's actions on.
That got me thinking, why not do a serialized theatre production? Continue storylines from month to month, guaranteeing return business, and maybe a revue at the end of the year to catch people up on the storylines/best parts.
Perhaps if it did well enough, you could even start running multiple houses, but always starting from the first script so that people don't feel they're missing out.
Does anyone think this would be feasible?
(pirate icon chosen to reference Pirates of Penzance)
But how would you do rehearsal while you were still putting on a show? You'd almost have to, because if you had shows spaced out long enough to do proper rehearsal and tech set-up, you'd risk people wandering away and not coming back for subsequent shows, and you certainly can't expect people to come into a serial in the middle.
You do have August Wilson's series of 10 plays, recently culminating with "Radio Golf". But even there, the productions were spread out over a couple of decades, it was set over the period of a century, and wasn't written in chronological order.
I think the problem is that it's hard enough to find theatres willing to commission/produce new material (generally one out of five in a season is "new" at our local playhouse), so finding someone who would commit to write such a thing would be a rather large hurdle in itself.
Possibly an improv group could pull something off? But you'd have to have a pretty loyal subscriber base.
Drew Carey was good when it was about an average Cleveland guy who worked at a dead-end job. When the writers realized this and tried to jazz it up, THAT'S when it started to suck and blow at the same time.