The era of peak TV gets all the attention, but podcasts stepped it up in 2018, as well. Theatre podcasts give fans an intimate look at the industry and people who make it. But with dozens of podcasts dedicated to the theatre scene, it can be tough to know which ones to download and subscribe.
We compiled a list of theatre podcasts, currently releasing episodes, that provide in-depth access to big theatre names as they share their artistic journeys, industry trends, and more. Our list includes some oldies but goodies and some rising stars, but all of them will make you feel more plugged in to the theatre community through their interviews with industry members.
Here are seven podcasts theatre fans should listen to (in alphabetical order):
Hosted by: Bryan Plofsky, Kevin Jaeger, and Kimberly Cooper
Do you daydream about what it would be like to grab a pint and chat with your favorite Broadway star? Broadwaysted has been serving its listeners interviews with members of the theatre community up with a twist since 2017—the hosts and guests talk about their love for theatre and play theatre-themed games over a drink (or many).
2. The Ensemblist
Produced by: Mo Brady and Jackson Cline
One of Broadway’s original podcasts, The Ensemblist is now in its seventh year. Known as the online advocate for talented artists working in theatre ensembles on Broadway and across the country. This year, in particular, The Ensemblist switched up their model. Rather than interviewing actors, the ensemblists themselves read their own stories that have been posted to The Ensemblist website. With the switchup, The Ensemblist allows us to celebrate theatre’s unsung heroes in a new way. (Read about it here.)
3. The Hamilcast: A Hamilton Podcast
Hosted by: Gillian Pensavalle
Are your Hamilton references non-stop? Then The Hamilcast is for you! Though the podcast has been releasing episodes since the height of the Hamilton craze in early 2016, three years in the podcast continues to feel fresh and elevate its quality. Tune in for interviews with Lin-Manuel Mirandaand cast members about crafting the musical and discussions of Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton biography.
4. Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine
Hosted by: Ilana Levine
Ilana Levine (who played Lucy van Pelt in the 1999 revival of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown) kicks off every episode with a little known fact, and immediately launches into an interview that makes her listeners feel like they’ve been lifelong friends with the biggest stars from Broadway, film, and television. Since beginning the podcast in 2016, Levine has interviewed stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Octavia Spencer. Levine’s influence has only continued to climb—allowing her access to more and more stars—and she has honed her voice as a host to make this podcast a must-listen
5. Living the Dream with Rory O’Malley
Hosted by: Rory O’Malley
What is it really like to sustain a career in the entertainment industry? Since 2016, Tony nominee Rory O’Malley has been talking with fellow performers like Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells, and Leslie Odomr Jr., about staying grounded and happy while “living the dream.” As O’Malley’s years in the business progress, so, too, do his podcast episodes.
6. Off-Book: The Black Theatre Podcast
Hosted by: Drew Shade, Amber Iman, Donja R. Love
In a time where “diversity” and “representation” have become buzzwords, it’s important to actually hear from the artists who experience it all first-hand. Go into the world of black theatre artists with theatre journalist Drew Shade, actor Amber Iman, and playwright Donja R. Love. The podcast began originally in 2016, but has returned after a hiatus this past year. Recent notable guests include LaChanze, Aisha Jackson, and Kristolyn Lloyd.
7. The Original Cast
Hosted by: Patrick Flynn
Obsessed with cast albums? For over two years, Patrick Flynn has been providing a platform for nerding out and dissecting a new cast album each episode with special guests from the theatre community. But, of course, with a new crop of albums each season, Flynn always has ample fodder to keep his broadcasts feeling fresh.