May 9, 1998
Live Theater Vid for Kids Gets a Global Stage
by Eileen Fitzpatrick
All The Worlds A Stage: A husbandand-wife team of stock option traders in the Bay Area are plunging into the risky world of kids video with a series of live theater programs.
The company, called Globalstage, is the brainchild of Lizbeth Pratt and Craig Resnick, who like many parents found little quality video programming for their 11 year-old son. "There's a vacuum in children's entertainment for older kids," says Resnick, who is also the company's CFO. "Most of the programming available is too violent, with no redeeming value."
Since Globalstage formed earlier this year, the company has released videos of staged productions of "Pinocchio," "Frankenstein," and "Cyrano."
In addition to the performance, filmed by the BBC, the videos feature a discussion with the actors and the director.
Pratt attends children's theater festivals around the globe to find product. One recent acquisition was "A Stranger Came Ashore," a Scottish folk tale presented by the Royal Lyceum Theater Company in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The target audience for Globalstage product is kids between the ages of 6 and 14. Globalstage plans to release a new video every two months. Each is to be priced at $24.95; consumers can subscribe to the series, which reduces the cost per tape to $22.50.
Director of sales Robert Knapp says retail distribution has been limited. Titles are advertised and sold through direct-response ads in magazines like The New Yorker, Sunset, Working Woman, Working Mother, Gourmet, Country Living, and Family Life. Globalstage also has a World Wide Web site, which can be accessed through www.globalstage.net.
Resnick says that his experience in the stock market didn't translate well into the video markets maze of thirdparty distributors.
"We really had no idea whatsoever how hard it is to get into retail," says Resnick, "but we think we have a unique niche, because most kids product on the market is animation that caters to a younger market."
He says the company is looking to ink a distribution deal and seek financing later. "Right now, though, were just plowing through."
Globalstage can also be reached at 888-324-5623.