By Alonso Valle
In the innovative realm of TikTok, the transformative power of musical theatre takes center stage, as seen in the groundbreaking journey of Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.
This virtual phenomenon, driven by the collective creativity of the TikTok community, not only satirizes and adapts traditional musical theatre elements but also manages to transcend its digital origins, culminating in a cohesive musical performed as a virtual benefit concert that remarkably raised over $1.9 million for the Actors Fund. The creators harnessed the unique attributes of TikTok, to reimagine the conventions of musical theatre. Through a skillful process of adapting song types, orchestration styles, and character tropes, they navigated the specific format and constraints of the TikTok app, engaging the audience in a modern and captivating way.
As the various individual TikToks contributed to Ratatouille’s final form, they collectively satirized musical theatre, effectively working within its dramaturgy. The genesis of Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical reflects a realization that TikTok, with its open and democratic nature, could serve as a unique creative canvas.
The workshop period became an open call for writers, composers, actors, and designers, allowing the public to shape the narrative by determining the most popular and engaged with TikToks, which were eventually included in the digital concert. The innovative intersection of traditional musical theatre with the dynamic platform of TikTok not only contributes to the evolution of musical narratives but also signifies a shift in how audiences engage with and contribute to the creation of theatrical experiences in the digital age.