Online platform CloudTheatre shortlisted for Asia Pacific innovation awards

CloudTheatre founders William Yap and Dennis Lee introduced the online platform in May to help art practitioners through the pandemic. Photo: Filepic

Malaysian streaming platform CloudTheatre has been selected as a finalist in TechNode Global’s ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2020 under the Startup Awards - Media & Entertainment category.

CloudTheatre was formed by theatre duo William Yap, a theatre director/actor and Dennis Lee, a theatre actor, to fill up gaps in the Malaysian theatre industry in the wake of the pandemic.

“We were surprised to be picked as we were not expecting anything when we were sending in our submission. When we saw all the finalists, we couldn't believe our small little startup would be put side-by-side with all the other innovative solutions from different countries, ” says Lee.

CloudTheatre will be competing against seven other startups from the region to clinch the top spot under this category.

CloudTheatre is a platform for theatremakers to put their shows online, screen them at a particular time and date and only allow access to those with virtual tickets.

Since it began streaming in late May, CloudTheatre has sold over 6,000 tickets to audiences from over 30 countries worldwide. It made a total of over RM200,000 payout to over 20 shows performed and streamed on the platform.

Some of the notable shows streamed on CloudTheatre over the past few months include Tales From Amma’s Kitchen, Reflections and Instant Cafe Theatre’s Zoom Parah.

Zoom Parah’s two-show run in July sold over 1,000 virtual tickets, with an audience from over 20 countries.

Moving forward, Lee says CloudTheatre is ready to go global in 2021.

“We have been talking to a few international producers to bring overseas shows to Malaysia and Malaysian shows to the world.

“We are also planning to create workshops and dialogues with local and international directors and producers to promote arts exchange and outreach, ” says Lee.

“At the same time, we are actively working on getting funded so that we could continue to expand CloudTheatre not only as a streaming and ticketing platform but also as an online global arts and culture hub, ” he adds.

The ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2020 aim to provide recognition to companies that have exemplified the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in the running of their businesses.

There are four main categories and 19 sub-categories in the awards.

The ORIGIN Innovation Awards results will be announced on Nov 18.

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