Level Up - How to progress audience interaction

Rich Warburton, 4 October 2012

A general discussion of how to navigate a new audience interaction where audiences are offered a participatory role within the theatrical experience.

Much talk about the usefulness of game mechanics to help structure audience interaction, the need for clear and understandable rules of engagement at the start of the experience which can then be developed within the performance.

The boundaries and edges of encounters and the necessity to include meaningful choice and audience care. The difficulties of allowing genuine and real feedback and authorship once audience numbers increased. Can you have both narrative and choice? Ho

Overall the following was possibly agreed upon:

Masks and Glasses can be a problem
Care for the entry and exit points of the piece
Be aware of the expectation on offer
If you offer interaction make sure to allow it
Careful of what face you are pulling at the time of offer
Allow for emergent experiences
Iteration, iteration, iteration\
Look beyond game as a model for interaction

Audiences will suspend their disbelief for longer if you don't underestimate their ability to play along.
Know what you're offering upfront
Don't overcomplicate early on

Public space is a political space
Following a fake santa by mistake is a good thing.
Audiences can if you choose select themselves before any interaction. Finding the experience can be a deliberate mechanic of being offered the experience
Wouldn't it be lovely if you could have live easter eggs (ala DVD extras)
Don't worry about showing the mechanics of the experience it's ok to peek behind the curtain
care for your audience
be clear about what their expectations are!
It's okay to call it theatre
Environment is contextual


games, interactive theatre, public space, care, participation