Yes! This is closer to what I was hoping for in my last post, about social media.
In the past, theatres have been criticised for getting social media wrong, but there’s definitely movement in the right direction. They’re starting to think of us as audiences online as well as offline. Maybe it’s not that hard after all. Sometimes making it work is as simple as saying: “Thanks for coming.”
This from a great article in The Guardian called Noises Off (but of course).
What makes me happiest in the article is learning that companies are using social media to create extra content – more like specials on a DVD – rather than just using it as a billboard. This especially includes video.
I did something similar way back in the day. I used to work for a company called Eclectic Theater Company, and in the 2009/2010 season, I decided to use my crappy laptop webcam and make video previews of the shows I was directing, which included MacBeth, and one of my favorite shows from across the pond, “A Taste of Honey” by Shelagh Delaney.
I also created a series of videos highlighting the behind-the-scenes experience of MacBeth, during the 6 weeks of rehearsal and tech.
So I’m glad that other theatres (with more staff, time, and bigger budgets … just barely) are doing the same!
Also, a theatre company in Philadelphia is integrating social media as part of the overall theatre experience. Audiences can follow the characters on Twitter or friend them on Facebook and learn more about them before going to see the show.
And there’s THIS gem from “5 Ways Theatre Can Use Social Media” on CulturalEntrepreneur.org.
4. Collaborative Content Creation
The LA Times’ Culture Monster blog post, Theaters are taking social networking to a new level, reported in June about the La Jolla Playhouse’s Your Life, Our Stage initiative that invited people to, “submit ideas for a play based on their own lives by uploading videos, photos, artwork and written descriptions via the social networking vendor Brickfish.”
Yay! When artists create content – good content, not just “Hey come see our show please” content – then I think theatre will really become more interesting to a larger audience.