A sea of viewers sits quietly enthralled, while a company of actors, established in their world of illusion, make believe they’re not there at all. An imaginary barrier that exists between actors and audiences in theatrical performance, the fourth wall carves out space for realism in a fictional world. But not only is the fourth wall being broken, but theater is on the move, traveling between spaces and city blocks, taking audiences along for the ride. This is immersive theater, and then some.
Many of us have been there, driving on a hot summer day when suddenly from the corner of our eye we see the eager wave of an 8-year old budding entrepreneur, standing behind a nailed together sidewalk stand, decorated with fresh lemons and the words “Homemade Lemonade” thoughtfully painted on a wooden plank overhead.
What Makes One Experience Stand Out Over Another?
We can all agree that no experience is the same, so what makes one lemonade stand more memorable than another? if we liken our 8-year old budding retailer to a brand, out to capture the attention of prospective consumers with on-site refreshments and interactive sales, what makes us choose to stop, to linger, to walk away feeling satisfied and refreshed, believing that this specific lemonade is the answer to all of our problems?
My goal as at artist and creative director is to evoke a strong reaction at either end of the emotional spectrum: the worst case scenario is apathy. Hatred, love, disgust, admiration, passion, fear, joy, sadness, nostalgia, empathy: each of these may or may not be the desired and intended effect of your “lemonade stand”, but what is more important is that you’ve evoked a strong enough response in your audience to keep them engaged. I’ll expand on this in upcoming posts.
What experiences have the greatest impact on you and why?
Now it’s your turn. Whether it be the neighborhood lemonade stand or the ubiquitous telecommunications pop-up shop at the local strip mall or subway station, what qualities determine our level of engagement? What makes us stop in our tracks to snap a selfie, even taking the time to connect with the brand behind the experience, instead of aimlessly passing by, thinking to ourselves “who green lighted this?”
What types of experiences do you remember the most, leaving you satisfied as an audience member, a prospective consumer, a person? What kinds of brand and creative experiences make you feel something and what is that feeling? How do these interactions influence your patterns of behavior? Photos and Comments Welcome! #MyLemonadeStand