Sharon Clark Fellowship – Part 4

Ice Road - Photography: Jack Offord

This is part 4 of Sharon Clark’s Immersion Fellowship sharing. To see her other posts, visit Sharon’s profile

The structure of the investigation into this experience has naturally been informed by our previous productions where we solicited audience feedback as to how they experienced the action, how they engaged with the world and how ‘safe’ they felt in the space they were inhabiting. The audience reacted positively to the sense of ‘journeying”; of being moved not just emotionally and intellectually through a story but also physically through a space. We have always designed our work so that the audience is not seated but set free to wander through the landscape we have built – the story will focus their gaze but it can also lead them through different structures, different stages, different corners of the world we have built. In their evaluation of our work the majority of the audience urged us to push this creative idea further and to break our theatre stories out of theatre walls.

With this learning in mind we are investigating how we can delve deeper in our interaction with our audience – with the ambition of exploring how we can whisper a story directly into their ears.

The research and development for The Undrowned has led to the collective conceiving of a theatre narrative where the audience experience/passage is defined by, what we are calling, four distinct creative ‘exchanges’. At this point in time this is a theoretical creative route map – we are now entering a period of developing, building, prototyping and testing.

Exchange 1An anticipation solo experience at home delivered through mobile AR and the ticket that starts the narrative.
Exchange 2A journey experience through Magic Leap experience immediately prior to arrival at the performance space, that provides stage 2 of the narrative.
Exchange 3The found performance experience with performer, projection mapping and object based media (totems), where the heft of the narrative lies.
Exchange 4The recall experience the following day, through mobile, that provides an additional narrative beat to fully close the story.

This ladder of exchanges has been built to provide the audiences with an extended story experience. It is a way to play with the notion that a theatre narrative doesn’t always start and end at the performance space doors but can take place in a wide range of virtual and physical spaces and places.