Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Required Viewing

A review of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” by Mr. Miller is up at the GayRVA site, a review that may incite some conversation.

I’m adding another little feature to my navigation over there on the right. One thing that my eyes were opened to when I was in Los Angeles was the number of people out there in cyberland who are covering theater. So I am adding a little sidebar with links to other websites that I have – or will start to – access for the latest “News and Reviews” on Broadway and theater around the country (or the world).

The first link is to an online publication called Arts Journal. One of the highlights of my L.A. experience was the opportunity to work with Doug McClennan who is a true visionary when it comes to the effect of the internet and new media on the arts. He did a talk at the TCG conference called “The Community Formerly Known as the Audience: Who They Are, What They Want, and What to do About It” (you can – and should! – pull up the livestream of the talk. Doug actually starts talking at about 6:11 so go to that point for the beginning and skip all of the milling around. And if you watch, yes, that’s me up there on the dais providing what tech support I could during the talk).

While the talk was going on, Doug was also taking questions from the audience in the form of texts and there was a Twitter feed with responses to the talk being broadcast live on the screen behind him. It was a truly brilliant conflagration of interaction and response that characterizes the inter-connected world of today.

This talk should be REQUIRED viewing for artistic and managing directors at theater companies across the country. If you want to understand how to align yourself with the audiences of the future, listen closely to what Doug says.

One of the most telling moments of the talk was when someone Tweeted that they didn’t like how people were laughing at anecdotes and stats related to how often people text or tweet or use Facebook or are involved in other new media. This comment was re-tweeted about a dozen times and Doug finally addressed it in his talk. Texting and Facebook and everything are not “cute.” As someone with two teenagers, I can tell you from first-hand experience that these are all integral aspects of life for a new generation of young people, AKA a generation of potential audience members. Tittering about this behavior is akin to scoffing at the appeal of that wacky new box called the television back in 1940s.

If you have suggestions for more websites for me to list as theater-specific news sources, please include them in a comment. Thanks!

1 comment:

Dave T said...

To Anonymous re: Matthew Miller:

To answer your question, yes Mr. Miller is a member of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle. If you have specific counter-criticisms to his review that you'd like to post, I'd be happy to clear them to appear on this site. However, just calling someone (besides me) names is not something I'm going to condone here. Just FYI.