Twitter in Live Theatrical Performances

Imagine going to see a Shakespeare play. Before the show begins, you are not told to turn off your phone. Instead you are told to turn on your phone and login to twitter.

Now during the show, the audience is tweeting with each other and members of the cast and production staff.

It’s hard to imagine how this experience would actually turn out since a lot of it is determined by what you and others are actually tweeting and how that might translate to the performance on stage.

This has been an interest of mine and I want to try it out.

There’s not a lot of production companies using social media as part of its show, but I found a great article by Gwydion Suilebhan called Theater, Twitter, and Revolution.

He talks a lot about how play writers can use twitter during the creation process.

My favorite quote is by Alli Houseworth who said:

So much of the social media work I do at Woolly is all about transparency. How can I open up the proverbial doors of how we create work to our online audiences? My theory is that the more my audience feels invested in the process of creating new work, the more they will value the experience of attending it liveā€¦ I want our process to no longer be mysterious, elitist, or something that’s created in a far off room with closed doors.

It seems that there is a group out there that is making social media work when it comes to creating pieces of art.

But what about using twitter during the show?

Suilebhan talks about the Playground Theater whose performances morph as the audience tweets. I would like to experience that.

Okay, the Playground Theater seems to be an improve theater. Can this work with a more traditional theater? What if you don’t want to morph the performance?

Or is morphing a performance a natural extension of using social media during the show?

These are questions I want to experiment with and try to answer.

Question: What are your thoughts? Would you be interested in seeing a play/musical that encouraged you to tweet during the show? What would you want that experience to be like?