Live Twitter Feed from Portland Center Stage Performance

Last night Portland Center Stage invited 30 of their closest Twitter friends to join them in a live twitter feed during the performance of Apollo.  This brought up the discussion of the idea of immediate feedback and audience polling by some in the #theatre twitgroup.  @SMLois liked the idea, but was not sure that most of her audience members has ever heard of Twitter.  @LondonTheatre suggested giving the tweeters a theme or direction, or even possibly involving them in performance.  Could this be a new way to get the allusive teens/20-something population back to the theater?

PCS has to be commended for trying new and different approaches in advertising and connectivity in a economy where more and more people are not spending money on non-essentials.  The tweets from Act I are nothing special and in fact a little boring.  You can try your luck with Act II or Act III. (LondonTheatre is right, their should have been a staff member as a moderator asking questions about the show to the audience members) The idea is something that should be discussed and used as a building block for future attempts in how theaters can use social media to connect to audiences and the greater communities.

Alison Hallett, from the Portland Mercury, did a liveblog during the event.  While she cuts the blog at intermission claiming, “This blog post is worthless.”, commenter @agoodhusband writes, “This will obviously take some more time to percolate through my brain, but I found the process rather useful. I’ve always been frustrated by the traditional sit in a dark room and don’t respond to what’s happening culture that is our theatre. Shakespeare’s time allowed for people to respond to the show in real time, and for actors to directly address audience. There needs to be more of that in our time. Twitter allows that to a degree. There were some useful thoughts and insights in other Tweeple’s posts. I will digest them over the next couple of days.”

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    3 thoughts on “Live Twitter Feed from Portland Center Stage Performance

    1. Lindsay Price

      I think this is an interesting concept that’s not quite right yet. I hope they don’t give it up. It could be that link to theatre younger viewers need. And then on the other hand does it take away from the experience to be focused on the tweet and not on the stage…. I’m on both sides of this!

    2. Carmen Hill

      I participated in the live twitter of #apollo Saturday night and have a couple of thoughts… I get where @londontheatre is coming from, but I don’t think that would have been practical. It was all I could do to pay attention to the action on the stage and hope that my fingers were on the right keys. Answering questions would have been asking too much and would have taken al the fun out of it. Plus, I think the nature of Twitter is that it is very individual and stream of consciousness. Have “an assignment” would kind of kill it. That doesn’t mean all the tweets were super insightful or valuable to someone following from the outside. It was a unique way to experience theater and share the experience. I enjoyed going back later and seeing what my fellow tweeters had said about the performance at various points. One other note: twitter isn’t really a channel for young people. It’s more the thirty-somethings and over who are most active. Teenagers share via text message and Facebook (and MySpace, still, to some extent). When we told our 20-year-old son that we were going to be “live tweeting” from Apollo, he said, “God, you guys really are a couple of dorks.”

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