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In the finale song of the musical Bombshell, the actor playing Marilyn Monroe pleads with her audience: ‘Don’t forget me’. A few years later, audiences are still keeping their promise. This chapter explores the fan communities that have formed around Bombshell, a musical created within the imaginary world of Smash, a fictional television series about the world of Broadway produced by the network NBC. It explains how, in the absence of a real stage production, audiences have brought together an array of digital manifestations in order to keep the show alive. Drawing on Rebecca Williams’ term ‘post-object fandom’ – used to describe the way audiences engage in collective grieving processes when a beloved television series ends – I introduce the idea of ‘no-object fandom’. By investigating digital representations of live performance, I show how audiences develop emotional associations with theoretical texts: ones that they have never seen in full, because these texts do not actually exist outside the fiction.
|Title of host publication||iBroadway|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Nov 2017|