Life at The Soho Theatre

Last summer, I met Nina in Liverpool. It was a serendipitous meeting. We’d been circling around each other for awhile apparently.

She’s the director of the Writing Center at The Soho Theatre, a cool multi-level joint smack dab in the middle of Soho in London. She’d been working developing new avenues for theater, particularly those tied in with emerging technology.

We kicked around some ideas for teaching a transmedia workshop for playwrights, artists, actors, writers and the like who are associated with the theatre. We weren’t exactly sure what we wanted to do, but we knew we wanted to do something.

This summer, we had the chance.

 TheaterWorkshop

Nina gathered 11 folks for a six day, 18-hour workshop where we’d run through some of the basic principles of transmedia storytelling (after Nina helped them bridge the gap between what theater is and what games are) and then turn them loose to create…something.

This is what they looked like early on.

TheaterWorkshop3

But Nina did a good job getting them up to speed on the intersection of theater and games and then helped them get started developing their stories. I’m looking forward to using a few writing techniques in my classes.

TheaterWorkshopDay2_3

I did persuade my friend Jo and Chris (who isn’t pictured) to swing by. Jo works at The Times of London and Chris runs similar types of workshops for writers and poets in Brighton. His hair isn’t red, though, which doesn’t translate as well for pictures.

TheaterWorkshop_Joanna

The groups spent the last few sessions outlining their stories, building small websites to get a sense of how these things might be done, shooting short videos. It was basically roll up your sleeves time and brainstorm.

TheaterWorkshop_Final4

By the time Wednesday rolled around, the teams were really honing in their stories – and the structures for how they envisioned “doing” the story.

TheaterWorkshop_Final3 

On Thursday, Group A presented The Professor (aka The Ghosts of Soho).

TheaterWorkshop_Final2 

Meanwhile, Group B presented an entirely revamped and redone story, one that was crafted in less than 24 hours. This after 5 days of work. Because sometimes it just works out that way.

TheaterWorkshop_Final

It was an amazing experience for me. I loved meeting everyone and helping them work through the creative process for conceptualizing a transmedia story. Both groups are fired up to complete their projects, which I hope they do.

Either way, it was a great learning experience for me as well. And a great way to end my time in London.

2 comments
Brad_King
Brad_King

It's like we should be friends. I guess if we see each other someday, we'll have lots of ground to cover :)

Sarah
Sarah

this sounds incredible- and i thought i was following what you meant by trans media storytelling until you mentioned "bridging the gap between theater and games." All at once i realized i might be thinking in the opposite direction. so, i guess my question is how did Nina bridge the gap between theater and games? as usual, this is something that is very obviously your area of study that i have a major interest in. I hope your flight back to the states goes well!

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