What are we looking at this week at 2amt? The upcoming Chicago Fringe Festival, the question of how to survive in theatre, a great new way to give and receive feedback online, the $600 question, letting it all hang out at the amusement park, hunting down the secret to SCVNGR, some delightful drunken cupcakes and Amanda Palmer’s breasts. Not necessarily in that order.
The Audience on your next project
Looking for feedback? Here’s an application and website developed directly from conversations on the #2amt stream on Twitter this week. Talkbackr, designed by Brian Seitel. Check out the first actual Talkbackr review from Kate Foy. We’ll be posting the full story behind the program’s development very soon.
Kyle Cassidy on printer malfunctions
What do you do when your printing company decides they don’t want to print your promotional materials? Photographer Kyle Cassidy created a series of photos to promote the upcoming production of Cabaret at A.R.T. in Boston, featuring Amanda Palmer. (In case you forgot, we love Amanda Palmer.) Click through to find out what happened when the production’s program got to the printer.
Kris Vire on what you’re doing next weekend
Chicago gets its very own Fringe festival next week, and Kris Vire of Time Out Chicago gives us a preview. Part of the festival includes a special panel discussion about 2amt featuring myself, Eric Ziegenhagen, Bilal Dardai and Rebecca Zellar, moderated by Kris. It’s free to the public at the Edinburgh Stage at the Fringe HQ, 2003 S. Halsted, over in the Pilsen neighborhood, Saturday, Sept 4th, from 10:30am to 12pm, now complete with free light brunch. Looking for more about the Chicago Fringe? Check out how the festival came to be from the Chicago Reader.
Karen Greco on greatly exaggerating
What’s the easiest way to get attention? Magazines know. Look at this month’s Wired cover above. (Quick question. Where are you reading this? Well played, magazine, well played.) So when you advertise a live performance with the phrase “live performance is a dying art,” aren’t you being a little disingenuous? Karen Greco wonders aloud about the rumors of its death and whether or not this kind of exaggeration is a good idea or not.
John Paul Titlow takes us to Flowtown
When Devon Smith points out a trend or an article, I pay attention. (And so should you.) When she cries, whoa, full stop, read this now, I listen. This is what we’re reading this morning. Flowtown imports your email list and breaks it down by users’ social media usage and profiles. What do you think about that?
Adam Thurman on the $600 question
Since everyone keeps bringing up the question of how to market their work with what they don’t have, why not take a deep breath, shut the hell up and read Adam Thurman’s post on why you should concentrate on what you do have. Thing number one: creativity. If you don’t have that, you might just want to go home.
Erica Orden on making an impact
An opera lover and trustee with the Metropolitan Opera has designed a new, weekend rush ticket offer and, in the process, becomes a lovely model for modern philanthropy. Why? Because she felt that offering lower priced tickets and building younger, newer audiences was more important than buying the naming rights of a performance space. Brava!
Gus Schulenberg on reading your compass
One of the most thoughtful theatre bloggers out there, Gus steps back and takes a wider view. Are we a mirror of the world as we see it? Or are we a hammer to help shape and temper it? Are we as an art form pointing in the right direction? He’s not so sure.
Jason Zinoman on the defanged fringe
Instant recipe for a molotov cocktail. Call shenanigans and say that a fringe festival is mediocre. (That or ask whether you should spell it “theatre” or “theater.” Feh.) Jason Zinoman doesn’t ask whether or not the New York City Fringe is mediocre, he starts from that premise and goes forward. But before you get all hot and bothered–I can hear you breathing out there–put the bottles and the lighters down and check out RVC Bard with maybe a broader view of the NYC Fringe.
Erick Schonfeld on gaming SCVNGR
Over on the twitter stream, you may have heard some of us talking about a mobile app and game called SCVNGR. Some of us are beginning to use it to create experiences for our audiences, sort of a loose scavenger hunt with smaller games and tasks at various locations in and around our communities. Draw your patrons into your sponsors’ businesses, get them to collect items or cards, perform tasks or games, reward them with points or tickets or what have you. Have them send photos or video of themselves performing the tasks, build your community between theatre, patrons and sponsors. Sound daunting? Read this article and see how simple it can be.
Ken Davenport takes the prize
Better yet, Ken gets a cape and we all win. Yes, theatre can and should be a thrill ride. That’s the easy analogy. So Ken steps back and finds six other things to learn from a trip to Six Flags. How can we engage our audiences, entertain them and continue to entertain them inside and outside the theatre itself? Broadway is not a theme park, but it can be a hell of a ride. (See? Easy analogy.)
Hugh Hart on the Klingon original
A group of science fiction fans at the Zeebelt Theatre are going to stage the first original Klingon opera in the Netherlands next month. (Link is in Dutch. Google Chrome can translate it for you.) Good idea? Crazy idea? Does it matter? Is it fun? Most likely. Does it speak to an audience that wants it? Apparently. At least it’s not the Klingon Hamlet.
Lois Dawson on the apparent existence of cupcakes
If you’ve followed the #2amt tag over on Twitter for any length of time, you’ve probably seen a lot of references to cupcakes. What does that have to do with theatre? Nothing. But we do love cupcakes. Got a problem with that? (Well, okay, Travis Bedard does not believe cupcakes exist. He might be right.) This week, Lois Dawson travels to Havana by way of Damon Runyon and Frank Loesser to discover an original, the Rum Soaked Vanilla with Dulce de Leche Cupcake. Or individual serving of cake, pace Bedard.