A Guide to Blowing Up Your Paint Box
If you have ever been made to walk like a penguin at a serious arts conference and it was more fun than the free sundowner, engage here.
Lindsey Buller Maliekel raised the bar on audience engagement at WA Showcase 2018 and by 2019 with her co-speaker WT McRae would have made us limbo under it has they had time.
Instead, they talked and demonstrated about brilliant ideas, inviting audiences to the party and most importantly, not scaring the hell out of them so they don’t want to come.
They talked about how you set up engagement and interactive activities inspired by a piece of art and how you deepen the conversation between the art, artists and the audience to multiply the impact and gain a greater relationship.
This month, CircuitWest launched a resource Audience Engagement Strategies – A Template (New Victory Content Development Process) based on what the New Victory Theatre team taught at WA Showcase.
This resource is a step by step guide to looking at audience engagement through a different lens.
IT is best explained by its own rules of engagement
- Rehearsal is necessary.
- People need to be invited but don’t be creepy.
- The place people ALWAYS get tripped up is by shortening the brainstorm and then planning activity without rehearsal… push people to hold space for a LONG and ridiculous brainstorm and to TRY THINGS OUT
The resource is a series of question you should answer and people you should engage that will provide as many angles as possible to rethink your process. Rather than ask, what can we do in the foyer that will engage someone in this work before the show it asks HOW SHOULD THIS ENGAGEMENT FEEL? HOW CAN IT MIRROR THE AESTHETIC OF THE SHOW?
Remember this is not a resource that will give you someone else’s ideas. This is the process to truly change how you think about engaging if you are a producer or a presenter.
The Maliekel and McRae’s idea of blowing up your paintbox’ comes without an instruction book, but this is a great map for everyone who wishes to deepen relationships needs to ask their own questions and develop their own great solutions with their own specific audiences.