Multiplatform design for The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning

The pre-trial process of Bradley Manning has started in the United States, with the 24 year old army private accused of the biggest leak of classified information in military history. National Theatre Wales is creating a new play written by Tim Price about the alleged wikileaker and the time he spend in Haverfordwest in Wales.

Tim has blogged on the Guardian about why he is writing the play and I have been commissioned by NTW to design the multiplatform element of the show. There is a group on NTW’s community site (built by NativeHQ) where the show and the issues around it are being discussed.

More will be revealed as we develop the show, which will open in Bradley Manning’s own Haverfordwest school in April, but for the moment, all I will say is that I’ve been thinking about how a live theatre performance can interact with a global audience through the internet, and how it can move beyond the broadcast thinking of the approach taken by National Theatre Live  🙂

The benefit of online collaboration (Guardian)

Here’s an interesting albeit teasingly brief set of examples of how arts and culture organisations used online collaboration tools and practices to be more efficient and save money.

Collaboration has been a good use of digital media for a number of years. But I suppose it’s inevitable that ‘feeling the squeeze’ is given as a key reason for looking at these collaboration opportunities, perhaps enough to bring what might have been perceived as a niche topic into the pages of the Guardian.

The emphasis in the article is mainly on collaboration beyond the walls of your company – with other organisations – although I’d argue that better collaboration can bring benefits within the team of an organisation too.

Photos from the development of The Passion by Michael Sheen

Here are some photos I took during the development stage of the Passion project, while we were exploring the Port Talbot dunes and beach with Michael Sheen, Bill Mitchell, the cast and some of the crew.

Port Talbot: all about The Passion online experience

We’ve done quite a bit of work with National Theatre Wales, ever since the beginning when we helped them plant the seed of their online community and, among the most memorable and fulfilling for me, The Beach production in Prestatyn in July 2010.

Now Tom has written a long post about his experiences working on the online experience for The Passion, the theatre production in Port Talbot. Well worth reading if you’re interested in the intersection of theatre, community, storytelling and online.

National Theatre Wales programme launch today

Our friends (and client!) National Theatre Wales are launching their 2010 programme today.

More info from director John McGrath on the community site.

Join the online chat and watch the live video stream, see Catherine Paskell’s blog post for info on that.

National Theatre Wales conversations in full flow

We’ve been working with National Theatre Wales on their online community strategy. Earlier this year we unveiled a social site based on the Ning platform.

It’s similar to Facebook in some ways except that it allows a level of detailed conversation probably not possible before. We’ve had many people join and, importantly, participate on there – actors, writers, directors, technical people and of course audience (like me).

NTW wanted something which would complement and support their work and their ethos of boldness, openness and experimentation. National Theatre Wales are like the host of a party – on the site there’s a great deal of freedom in the topics you can discuss. Feel free to sign up and try it.

If you want to be precise about terminology you could say it’s both a “social network” site and a “social networking” site. It’s a subtle difference in wording but a big difference in practice. In other words, it not only supports existing connections between people (like Facebook friends) but encourages new connections to form between people who wouldn’t otherwise know each other. (If you’re interested in some background to this distinction, check out USA-based researcher danah boyd’s thoughts in this area. Not for everyone but you might like it.)

So it’s been fun to work on the site – with NTW and their visual branding partners Elfen – and now see people discussing things and blogging about theatre and related topics. And it’s genuinely exciting to think that people will meet “in real life” and work on new projects together as a result of this online community and the various groups it now holds.

Currently we’re gearing up to November’s announcements of next year’s theatre events. More news soon.

In the meantime, here’s a great example of a discussion which resulted from a blog post.