1) Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hamilton Revolution
In less than a year, @Lin_Manuel has more than tripled his following, increasing from 50,000 Twitter followers to 162,000. The man is young, scrappy, and hungry, if you know what we mean. He is well-known for his fan interaction; constantly liking, retweeting and replying to his followers, answering questions about the show and giving fans a peek into his daily life. Hamilton has literally taken over social media, because as we learned from the show, who lives, who dies, who tells/tweets your story? @HamiltonMusical alone has been tweeted about over 1 million times, and the Hamilton lottery hashtag #Ham4Ham has become a staple for Hamilton fans on Twitter. With special guest performances after the show's lottery drawing, #Ham4Ham lets fans track the shenanigans that are always happening outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre. From Twitter to Tumblr, Hamilton is truly non-stop, leaving its mark through dozens of parody and fans accounts. #YayHamlet
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) July 8, 2015
2) Hamilton's Squad
Speaking of Hamilton fan accounts, one of the most popular is @hamiltonssquad, which takes onstage and offstage Hamilton moments and applies them to everyday situations most will find familiar (at least Millennials will). The squad has grown to an impressive 15,000 followers since September 23, 2015, and is run by Hollis Jane. Members of the Hamilton cast are known to retweet from @hamiltonssquad, because Founding Fathers seem even more relatable when they're trying to get a spot at the grown-ups Thanksgiving table or celebrating an accepted debit card after a weekend of partying. We've all been there.
— Hamilton's Squad (@hamiltonssquad) November 9, 2015
when u were a kid and u dreamed of sitting at the adults table at Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/rumzqqfkZC
— Hamilton's Squad (@hamiltonssquad) November 25, 2015
3) George Takei
2015 has truly been the year of the #GeorgeTakeiClapBack (can we get that trending?). On Facebook alone he has called out Kim Davis and her supporters and gave an eloquent explanation on the importance of immigration to the Mayor of Roanoke, VA. He's even invited Presidential candidate Donald Trump to see Allegiance. Let's just say George hasn't been afraid to use his platform to speak up for what he believes in, and we are very here for it.
4) #TheWizLive #TheWizLive was landmark for several reasons. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's knock-out live musical presentation was showered with high ratings, and perhaps just as importantly, love from social media. Cumulatively, over 1.6 million tweets were sent out regarding the live telecast. See our faves from the night here.
— Mila (@starsinmylocs) December 4, 2015
5) Annoying Actor Friend reveal
The parody account Annoying Actor Friend has kept the Broadway community (and beyond) giggling and guessing at the true identity behind the iconic theatre masks. Known for his witty observations and sassy comebacks, @Actor_Friend is also responsible for social media campaigns like #Dim4Joan and #Dim4Kyle, and the Lab vs Workshop discussion. On December 9, 2015, days after releasing his second book, #GRATEFUL, Annoying Actor Friend revealed his identity as Andrew Briedes to over 21,000 followers.
— AnnoyingActorFriend (@Actor_Friend) September 8, 2014
— AnnoyingActorFriend (@Actor_Friend) December 5, 2015
The greatest accomplishment of my entire life is that in 3.5 years, I never drunk butt dialed my identity. https://t.co/BlDGdcSSrG
— AnnoyingActorFriend (@Actor_Friend) December 9, 2015
August 28, 2015, the Broadway community was saddened by the tragic loss of history-maker Kyle Jean-Baptiste. Having debuted as the first black Jean Valjean in Broadway revival of Les Misérables several weeks prior, @Actor_Friend again took to Twitter (almost a year after he got #Dim4Joan trending) championed the #Dim4Kyle campaign, urging the Broadway League to dim Broadway marquees. (Ultimately, several theatres did dim their lights and the cast of Les Miz took to the street for a special remembrance.) The online Broadway community showed an outpouring of support for Kyle.
— AnnoyingActorFriend (@Actor_Friend) August 31, 2015
— Broadway Black (@BroadwayBlack) August 29, 2015
7) Humans of Broadway
The Humans of Broadway Instagram took a cue from Humans of New York, and put a Broadway twist on it. With stunning portraits and sincere quotes, fans of Broadway get a little up close and personal time with their favorite performers.
"I have a rare neurological disorder called HNPP. It's a demyelinating condition, so it's similar to MS but it's not degenerative so it's not nearly as serious. It just means sometimes my foot or my finger will go dead, I get migraines pretty often and some muscle spasms. The protective coating around my nerves disappears temporarily so I get paralysis, and sometimes it's for a couple of hours, other times a couple of weeks but then it'll get better. It's never been more severe than a foot paralyzed for a month. It's a little scary as an actor because you never know if it'll happen onstage. I've been pretty lucky so far and it's only happened once or twice to my bicep or my fingers so I just couldn't spray hairspray or button things. It would be terrible if it happened during Spring Awakening because of all the signing, but so far I haven't let it get in the way of my acting career."- @andymientus Hanschen in @springbway #humansofbroadway #theater #Broadway #springbway #hanschen #springawakening #deafawakening #hnpp
A photo posted by Humans of Broadway (@humansofbroadway) on
"I originally booked the part of Nala for the show in Hamburg, so the entire show was in German. And then when I made my debut in the Broadway show, in one of my first performances I actually started my solo song 'Shadowlands' in German, because I wasn't used to singing it in English. Music really sticks with you forever and it's hard to forget it."- @chantel_riley Nala in @thelionking #humansofbroadway #lionking #nala #broadway #nyc
A photo posted by Humans of Broadway (@humansofbroadway) on
8) Hillary Clinton
Former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received major attention from the Broadway community when she quoted Hamilton in a tweet shading her Republican competitors. If anything is clear, it's #HamiltonsImpact.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 11, 2015
9) 360-degree Videos
The latest move into integrating digital technology into the Broadway community, two high-profile musicals produced 360-degree videos this year. Andrew Lloyd Webber was the first to experiment with this technology with School of Rock – The Musical, virtually recreating the world of Dewey Finn's classroom rock band. It has been viewed close to 1.5 million times on YouTube since October 14, 2015.
A month later, Disney's The Lion King debuted a 360-degree video, this time, taking place on the stage of the Minskoff Theatre. Both videos made Broadway a little more accessible, letting fans truly enter the world of each of the shows.
10) Aaron Tveit got a Twitter
The world turned upside down on August 27, 2015, because Aaron Tveit started his official Twitter account. Fan girls everywhere collectively squealed. Almost 2,000 retweets on your first tweet? Not a bad way to join the 21st century at all.
Finally decided to join the 21st Century. Next up... cell phone!
— Aaron Tveit (@AaronTveit) August 27, 2015