Updated: Jan 21, 2019
While I've been doing all the sound editing for "Tour" I've also been moving forward on "Kindred Spirits." I've been trying to focus on story as I know all the gimmicks and kitchy stuff won't matter if the narrative isn't solid. It's gone through many iterations and might but coalescing into something that will work well. I have the cast, and an understudy for the female roles. Still searching for the right venue, though.
As Dan and I construct and debate the show one interesting thing has come up. He suggested that there be two tiers of tickets to the show. One level of tickets, that would be less expensive, for people to simply watch and another for people that gives them the ability to interact and effect the outcome. I have many thoughts and concerns about this. First off, I'm sure that people would take the option of the "observer only" admission. I think people often think they just want to stand in back and not have any responsibility to participate. However, I think often they end up participating when they are in the moment and, because of it, have a more surprising and rich experience. I would hate for someone to think they wanted to be passive and then find they wanted to do something during the show and couldn't. Secondly, I think some people (and, yes, I'm calling myself out on this) might chose the less active ticket simply because it's cheaper. So those that couldn't afford the active ticket don't get as fun of an experience.
This discussion is exactly the one I had in my "Practices" group at Central. We gave the audience a choice if they wanted to be able to effect the show. As they came in, we, the performers, instructed the usher to tell the audience that if they wanted to be able to be involved to sit on a chair and if they just wanted to watch to sit on a pillow. On the chairs people had cards with ways they could influence the course of the production like, "Clap your hands to stop the action then say "Do the rest of the scene while eating potato chips." In the feedback afterwards many people said they wish they had not chosen a pillow as they wanted to play. Some said it was the nebulousness of the instruction from the usher that left them worried and made them chose a pillow, that they wish they had known what they might have to do. Many people are worried about being embarrassed or feeling the pressure of having to do something "right" in front of a crowd. I want to explore and research those feelings of anxiety within interactive theatre.
However, people are used to paying more for better seats to a show. Isn't that what the VIP ticket provides them, in essence: better seats? Now there are shows that have much higher ticket prices for people who get a part to play during the show or even just to be sat on the stage so the experience is more visceral. These seem like important issues to consider, hence I'm still undecided about having different levels of tickets.