The insatiable apparatus that is social media broke new ground this past Monday, July 27, at the Northern Sky Theater. The outdoor amphitheater (formerly the American Folklore Theater) had its first ever performance where a small section of the crowd could participate in the show through the outlet of Twitter.
“We gained 5 new followers tonight,” said Christiana Gorchynsky, the marketing intern at Northern Sky. Gorchynsky, an active Twitter participant herself, had the original idea of incorporating the Twitterverse to the theater.
She received the go-ahead from her boss and was able to organize the event with a row at the back of the theater so that the soft glow of multiple smartphones didn’t detract fellow attendee’s enjoyment of the experience. The Tweeters consisted of four young women, one a fellow media member, and me. We were logged on to the Wi-Fi (data coverage in the woods is essentially obsolete) and were able to bring the performance to the ethereal Twitterverse.
The play, No Bones About It, is a Romeo and Juliet-esque story with two kids who, much to their parents chagrin, fall in love at the Verona Rib Fest, an annual Barbeque competition.
The comedic stratas within the play had the audience laughing and clapping in amusement throughout the duration of the performance. One of the more satirical components of the show was the inundation of social media and its prevalence in the social matrix of contemporary culture. This hysterical nuance is primarily seen through two characters, Kelly, a gastro astrologist, and Ken, also called “Uncle Yummy.” Both play food bloggers and are judges at the Verona Rib Fest.
Kelly and Ken are active users on social media and hysterically brag about the number of comments on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Selfies and hashtags are commonly referenced throughout the show in obeisance to the expediency social media users have in transmitting an event to their followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook.
This exploratory piece of marketing made more for a fun and enjoyable experience for us as we tweeted lines we found particularly funny or components of the play we found especially interesting/creative during the show.
“I think you pick up on the funny things (in reference to the live tweeting) even more because you’re waiting for the punchline or the joke and you’re even more focused waiting for a good line,” said Maggie Buckman, a live tweeting participant.
Buckman, along with her sister Morgan and their friend Monica Salmeri, are all college students who agreed that tweeting the event made it far more interesting than having to pocket your phone for the whole performance.
With Millennials’ affinity for social media and sharing their lives with others, events such as these should only continue to “trend” upward.