Open Forum

Immersive Theatre for HS?

  • 1.  Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 07-11-2020 15:10
    Anyone ever produce anything that was immersive with high school? I am specifically thinking of shows where audiences see different parts of the show at different times and in different orders. I've heard of plays where this happens live, with audiences in groups going to different rooms, but I'm wondering if there is something that can be done here in a virtual format, since that is seeming more and more likely for our fall production. Anyone have thoughts or suggestions?

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    Jessica Shaw
    Speech and Drama Teacher
    Alexandria VA
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  • 2.  RE: Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 30 days ago
    I've always wanted to do a "Sleep No More"- style performance but that will be impossible until a vaccine happens.  However, I've been brainstorming ways to do social media plays either via facebook or creating a production instagram that people could follow or view the story.  The journey could be expanded to last, be done weekly, or so many possibilities.

    Concerns:
    1) Creating material is probably more logical (though it could be really cool to get permission to do something like Crucible or Antigone in this format)
    2) Curating it could be quite a task (safety and access, etc.)
    3) Getting content filmed and edited to look as professional as possible

    Exciting bits:
    1) Could be super modern and really cool experience
    2) Could be collaborative with people across the country (you're students in VA could theoretically interact with my students in GA)
    3) Creating new content with students that matters to them


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    Joel King
    Woodstock GA
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  • 3.  RE: Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 30 days ago

    This is a bit of a variation, but still interactive.

    It would take finding/ developing the right script, but you could do a digital variation on "Choose Your Own Adventure" books where - instead of text - the audience watches actors perform, then chooses next steps. 


    If you use Google Tools, a Google Form can hold videos, provide audience options, and then send them to new pages based on their selections. A Google Slideshow could accomplish this task, as well.



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    Andy Jaramillo
    Aurora CO
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  • 4.  RE: Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 30 days ago

    Hi Jessica,

    We are adjusting our Christmas musical - THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN TOYS - to be immersive.  With the COVID situation it could be done outside with an audience.  Let me know if you want more information.

    Thanks
    Larry Little
    Producer



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    Larry Little
    Chicago IL
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  • 5.  RE: Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 29 days ago

    Hi Jessica-

    In 2017 I did an immersive Hamlet in seven different spaces in our school. The audience was split up in groups of four and followed a guide that had a specific through line path. There were four paths- one that followed Gertrude, one that followed Claudius, and two that followed Hamlet but in different orders. It was very very difficult to organize and plan, but was very rewarding an interesting.The audience had to have some knowledge of Hamlet to understand the show. I'll load the youtube links for what I taped- I tried to video most of the large scenes so you can get the idea. We added several character "dances" as "inner monologues" to help pace the show- while Hamlet is performing too too solid flesh, Claudius and Gertrude are in their bedroom performing a flirty wedding "dance."

    Then our seniors this year had written an original show to be immersive when we went to lockdown. They turned it into a website with podcasts. You can check that out here: https://www.drawingcircles2020.com/  The whole script is on a tab as well.

    I think if you had zoom scenes/monologues on themes and build a website where audiences could choose their own adventure that could be really cool. Good luck!

    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt54HGZ3lD4&t=20s
      We had a preshow band and an emcee- skip to 3mins in to see the start of the show.
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsCRQUDi-DE
    Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp9FonhzwhQ

    Shawn Hann

    Director of Theatre
    Denver School of the Arts



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    Shawn Hann
    Denver CO
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  • 6.  RE: Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 28 days ago
    our all show last year waas FEIFFERS PEOPLE, set n a rehab facility... The audience sat among the actors, who interacted with them, sat by them....it was a strange experience for our audience, and a realy challenge for our kids... Cast of about 25...Once thy entered the theatre they were at the hospital,....aides and nurses seated people. Interesting, but difficult.

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    Ginger Latimer
    Performing Arts Chair/ Theatre Director
    Madera CA
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  • 7.  RE: Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 28 days ago
    This discussion is so good! I, too, am fascinated by the possibilities of immersive theatre in the digital space. Please keep the ideas coming!

    Last year, I directed an immersive Around the World in 80 Days which took the audience through a preshow tour of the countries and foods, to the Reform club, to the British consulate, to a travel space which transformed as a boat, train etc, then back to the reform club. I would highly recommend delving into immersive theatre!

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    Christina Vincent
    Director of Theatre
    The Woodhall School
    Bethlehem, CT
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  • 8.  RE: Immersive Theatre for HS?

    Posted 26 days ago
    A few years ago, we did a production of MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM in a small local nature preserve.  There was an educational building/center on site that had a large meeting room where we did the opening scenes from the play then led the audience outside into the small woods. We began the play at dusk.    We had three performance spaces outdoors--two among the trees and one in an open grassy area which was the place where the mechanicals gathered to rehearse.  The audience sat on camp chairs at one location, on tree stumps at another, and on wooden benches at the third.  They moved from location to location, led by the actors.  Once the audience had transitioned outside, the meeting room where they had started was transformed into a banquet hall for the wedding reception in Act 5 complete with a head table for the couples and decorated tables for the audience/guests.  It was an awesome experience not only for those attending, but for the actors as well who connected on a whole new level to the play's setting and how it impacted their characters' actions .  I've attached some photos from the show.  I would be happy to give you more details if you are interested in doing something similar

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    Ron Parker
    Theatre Educator
    Appleton WI
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