Today has been our technical rehearsal so Jamee, Jess and Louise have been running around like headless chickens, whilst everyone else has been waiting in the green room to see if we are needed. So we are waiting, waiting for our four hours. I have currently supplied a pencil to Jess when she manically ran in asking for one.
I know we are not waiting that long but each time Jamee, Jess and Louise come into the room we all look up expecting news. We don’t know who they are going to need. I know I can’t really compare it but it reminded me of the women, mothers, daughters and sweethearts who would wait for the postman to arrive in the morning. They would either receive good news in the form of a letter from their boys and men, or they would have a knock at the door and receive some of the worst news they would ever hear. It must have been excruciating, I really don’t know how they would have coped, always wondering, always thinking and always missing them. Waiting, waiting, waiting…
Cox, E 2014
‘mediatisation is now explicitly and implicitly embedded within the live experience’
(Auslander 1999, p.35)
Throughout this performance I have been in charge of running our social media sites, documenting our progress and developing how our company have been viewed by the public. This is because ‘social media marketing via the internet is not only a trend, but also becomes a necessity for theatres striving to have their voices heard in an increasingly crowded entertainment world’ (Peter 2010, p.8). These images, videos and snippets of information have been vital as they reveal important information and insights into what we are doing and are performances within themselves therefore, they need to be relevant, content appropriate and most of all a clear reflection of ourselves as a company.
Along this journey I have created links with the Imperial War Museum Partnership, Culture 24, The Lincolnshire Life Museum, the Lincolnshire Archives and numerous schools. It is crucial to develop business to business relationships as these are invaluable when taking a project further.
Below are images of the bunting I hand-made and the sites I have managed to promote from.
Auslander, P. (1999) Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture. London: Routledge.
Peter, R (2010) Social Media Marketing Takes Centre Stage. Southern Theatre. 51 (4) 8-19.
I have been completely moved by the news of the new art installation that will be opening up in August of this year. The “Sea of Poppies” as it has been named in the Telegraph. I adore art, it is one of my guilty pleasures and the simplicity of this soon-to-be stunning piece will be breath-taking.
900,000 beautiful ceramic poppies.
Each one resembling a British or Colonial soldier who lost their life in the war.
They will then fill the moat that surrounds the Tower of London.
This installation was developed from Mr Cummins, who usually makes these beautiful ceramic flowers for garden ornaments. It was revealed that he took the title of the installation from a will made in the trenches by an unnamed soldier from Derby. Mr Cummins stated that:
“I read through an archive of the wills and came across one written by a man who said everyone he knew had been killed. He wrote of ‘blood swept lands and seas of red, where angels dare to tread’ (Telegraph 2014, online).
These beautiful works of art will fill the entire moat, creating a sea of red, a sea of loss, a sea of epic emotion.
Image and works cited from:
Telegraph (2014) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-one/10814268/Tower-of-London-moat-to-become-sea-of-poppies-to-mark-WW1-centenary.html [Accessed: 16/05/2014]
Whilst being involved in this process it has been incredibly enjoyable documenting everything that happens during rehearsals, meetings and catching some wonderful moments. I find it amazing that we are creating our own historical archive that people can look back on. So in a way, we are producing a piece of work from historical documents and archives and in the process we are creating our very own files of videos, pictures and notes documenting our journey. Our digital afterlife reveals how our ‘content is a reflection of you’ and how the ‘content is [our] legacy’ (Carroll and Romano 2011, p.3). That is why it is incredibly important to make sure that all content is ‘relevant to the target audience, as well as presented appropriately and in context’ (Leib 2001, p.108).
Carroll, E and J. Romano (2011) Your Digital Afterlife: When Facebook, Flickr and Twitter Are Your Estate, What’s Your Legacy? USA: New Riders.
Cox, E (2014)
Leib, R (2001) Content Marketing: Think like a Publisher – How to use Content to Market Online and in Social Media. USA: Que Publishing.
Finally the bunting is in the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre I am so happy with it, even though it took a hours to make I am really pleased with how it looks. This is the LPAC version with minimal information on it, and below is the other version with contact details on. I am very happy with how it looks, now it’s time for a cup of tea.
Cox, E 2014
Unfortunately I had a complete nightmare with the colour printer the day I wanted a colour mock up! However, here is a teaser of the marketing bunting that will be available soon. They will eventually be red, white and blue after taking inspiration from The Museum of Lincolnshire Life, where they had bunting hanging in the vehicle room. I previously mentioned this in my blog, The Grand Day Out. The red section will be poppies, the white our logo and the blue the title, date, time and where it will be performed. We will be putting this up in the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, the Lincolnshire Archives and also in The Museum of Lincolnshire Life. We will be using this as our pre-marketing material bringing out the leaflets and flyers closer to the actual date.
I really enjoyed designing our own version of a ‘poster’ as it is something completely different to what you would usually see for a performance promotion. It is bold, decorative and eye-catching because of the three vivid colours. I love how the ideas and inspiration from our research process are creeping into our current development. I really want to use bunting in our performance in order to tie in our ‘visual identity’ (Pieters 2008, p.1) as a theatre company.
Cox, E 2014
Pieters, R. Wedel, M (2008) Visual Marketing: From Attention to Action. Routledge: USA.
I decided to broaden our audience by targeting those that could be interested from the library. I made some tiny ticket style messages to put in World War One/history books in our campus library. These cards ask whether they have any family stories and what they themselves know about the war. They then have to reply to our Instagram or Twitter pages. I have made 120 tickets and have hidden them in the library, will you find one?
Cox, E 2014
When we were deciding how to create flyers and programmes we took inspiration from what marketing and promotional materials we had seen around campus and at other theatre venues. We absolutely loved the postcard flyer for A Letter To Lacy, we thought it was incredibly different, small yet eye-catching and bold enough to still have the distinctive image that will make people pick it up. We decided that this was the style of flyer we wanted, using World War One postcards as a template and creating our own stitched pattern on the front.
If you want to see how well the process went click this link to read Louise’s blog post.
Cox, E 2014
First to talk was Simon from Lincoln Drill Hall, he mentioned that their mission statement is to make ‘special moments’, that ‘art makes lives better’ and that they offer a ‘bucketful’ of experiences. The main importance is the accessibility of space, he gave an example of performances that are expensive but the reputation and accessibility of the show sold itself. These challenging performances that push boundaries have become incredibly popular, and this questions what we know about popular performance. Popularity is about ‘getting people through the door’ and The Drill Hall is already a Lincoln landmark so a lot of people don’t really see it as a traditional theatre venue like The Lincoln Theatre Royal. They even hold election night there and Simon even sees it as a ‘performance space’. He mentioned that there are three programmes available when it comes to performance: Challenging, Core and Popular Culture. Popular Culture is not about low production costs and values but it is about performance accessibility and its relevance. Simon asks questions about the audiences, ‘why would people be tempted to attend?’ and ‘what kind of experience do people have?’ However, he also mentions that the three programmes that are listed above are actually becoming fluid this also challenges about what can also be popular. It also pushes the boundaries of what the building is capable of and it is also a very versatile space. It is their responsibility to make high quality work popular and it seems that there is a complex relationship between the commercial and the popular.
Richard and Laura spoke on behalf of Chapterhouse . They mentioned that they don’t get funding so performances have to make money therefore, they can’t do experimental work. The company performs in venues that want and need to bring people in e.g. stately homes, gardens, National Trust, Heritage sites, so it has to sell. The performance will usually be one of the busiest days the venue will have. After being asked what he thought of popular performance, Richard sees it as a ‘responsibility for himself and for the venue’. He mentioned that Shakespeare is a harder sell than it used to be so now the company have moved towards staging classics like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. This creates a nostalgia where they use things that people recognise but it is always vital to have an innovative take on the text. With Laura writing the company she wants to create nostalgia, with modern interpretations, creating existing plays within a nostalgic format that the audience recognise, but it is innovative within that format. She also has a feminist agenda, Chapterhouse has become Event theatre, an entire entertainment package and she notices that the majority of people who go to these performances are women, so they need to give the audience what they want.
The LPAC has the problem of being a presenting venue when it comes to discussing what is popular, so is it about how we present the work we offer? They have less control over the productions that are put on so balancing the programme is always tasking as it is how the LPAC is perceived and received. We need to start to think about different forms of popular for different audiences, as there are so many different popular avenues of performance.
The talk was incredibly insightful to understand that popular performance is so hard to define, it shifts and changes like the indecisive Lincolnshire weather. This is what we need to be careful of when marketing our piece, we need to understand the audience in order to market the audience.
Byrnes, W.J. (2009) Management and the Arts. 4th Ed. Focal Press: USA.
The Drill Hall (2011) [image] http://www.lincolndrillhall.com/events/lincoln-drill-hall-s-third-annual-bangers-mash-ball [Accessed: 16/05/2014].
T, Howes (2013) Chapterhouse at Chatsworth. [image] http://tamaraausten77.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pride-prejudice-at-chatsworth-house-my.html [Accessed 16/05/2014].
After watching Michael Pinchbeck’s, The Trilogy at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre on Thursday 30th January, I related The End to our process the most. The performance was inspired by one line of stage direction found in William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, which was “Exit pursued by a bear”.
As Michael Pinchbeck states in this video:
“We have these cards, which contains the text, which we drop. So to start with it’s the script and by the end it’s the set” (2011 online).
This is how I believe our theatre company’s performance will be fabricated. After discussing what our performance theme would be, we decided to base it on war as this year it is The First World War Centenary. Due to our highly factual and unmistakably emotional topic we were incredibly fascinated by having recorded interviews, photos, music anything that could make the performance feel real and use it as our set. Whether it was used as a projection, printed photographs or a montage of sound it would all accumulate together to become our set.
This process reminds me of an art installation called A Book About Death, it’s not the content that I can reflect upon but I can with the process. Artists were invited to contribute a 500 postcards to create an unbound book. 486 artists responded to the request and A Book About Death was installed at The Emily Harvey Gallery in New York city on September 10, 2009. These small images were installed on a white wall while the remaining postcards were in large boxes on the gallery floor and visitors to create their own version of the unbound book. It reveals how we have no idea what we are going to get from researching this project and how our final performance can be ideas taken from any little fact we uncover or a moment we enjoyed in devising.
Our next step is to research into Lincoln’s involvement during the war, we will be visiting The Museum of Lincolnshire Life tomorrow, where they have an authentic World War One tank.
The Book About Death (2009) [image] http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_SAUcA31atjA/SqpTGdO2RgI/AAAAAAAADcE/vNJ29ZIKsj8/s1600/Install.1.jpg [Accessed 31/05/2014].
The End (2011) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOEJVxc-qBg [Accessed on 3/2/2014].
The End (2013) [image] http://michaelpinchbeck.co.uk/the-end/ [Accessed on 3/2/2014].
We had been dancing around in the beginning with many topics and themes for our company name and ended up with… “Drum roll please!”
‘Birds Eye View Theatre’.
I played around with the computer hoping to develop a digital image however, I wanted the logo to reflect our company manifesto. So I had an arts and crafts day trying out some different ways of creating birds. I did not want to make the logo war themed as the theme for this performance could be a one-off, if we were to take our company on after this module. I ended up photographing the finished result – once I had secured it to my desk with plenty of tape. I then added a black and white filter to the photo.
Having made the logo, it keeps the aims of our manifesto applicable as it a real, handmade logo, an honest take on birds (especially as I am not the best at creating bird silhouettes, as you can see). The only thing I changed digitally was the filter, but I don’t think we would have wanted the original colour of the string, especially as it is pink!
It was important for me to get the right image for our logo as it would be our consistent ‘visual identity’ (Pieters 2008, p.1) and this is what people will relate us too throughout this process. I love how the birds look as though they are on a washing line or a telephone wire looking down, and literally have a “Birds Eye View”.
Cox, E (2014)
Pieters, R and Wedel, M (2008) Visual Marketing: From Attention to Action. Routledge: USA.