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Tweeting Lesser Seductions

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 Leave a Comment

The observant of you readers may have already noticed, but Flux has begun tweeting about The Lesser Seductions of History. Along with the blog, this is our way of opening up our rehearsal process to you.

The tweets take two forms: @LesserSedux I'm posting moments of clarity and hilarity in the rehearsal process as they happen. Other artists working on the project are also tweeting their experience.

But here's what we're really excited about: the characters themselves are tweeting. Before you begin singing "You Gotta Get a Gimmick", consider the following reasons why this is as useful to our process as it is (hopefully) fun:

1. Thematic resonance with the play: Lesser Seductions explores how events both great and small shift the direction of our lives in subtle ways; as such, a daily look at imagined moments in the characters' lives through Twitter fits.

2. Research: The play is set in the 1960's, and while the broad strokes of the decade are still lit up like neon in our collective consciousness, the details are essential. Each character has been given 1 year to tweet from - Marie is tweeting from 1960, Tegan from 1964, Bobby from 1969, and so on. We've already learned a lot about the decade from the research the actors have done to make their year specific tweets feel authentic.

3. Character development: Actors and their director often need to create a credible back story for their characters. This project allows our actors to imagine the daily lives of their characters, moment by little moment. Already, this has yielded tangible benefits: Lee (Isaiah Tanenbaum) has done amazing work detailing his troubled relationship with his cousin and wife, as well as explored the nature of his art work.

4. Conventions: The nature of time and the arc of our characters' journey through it also resonates with the way we're tweeting: characters are talking across their specific years in a way that mirrors that madness of 1968. As in the play, they are both in time and outside of it.

5. And yes, it's fun: Matthew Archambault has already drafted a story of his character Barry's actions in Vietnam that will involve four main characters and play out over the next few weeks. It is, essentially, a play within a play that he's writing. Those who read it will have an enhanced relationship to that part of Barry's journey.

How to follow us:
The tweets are aggregated by the hashtag #LesserSeductions, but if you're not a Twitterhead, just scroll down the right nav and you can see the tweets from that hashtag streamed to the blog; right below our Fan Box and over the Archive. Clicking on each tweet will let you see which character wrote it, but only by joining twitter can you see the full stream of characters in all its glory.
If you are on Twitter, be sure to follow the project @LesserSedux, and each of the individual characters (not all of the actors are Tweeting yet, but they will, oh yes, they will)
The_1960s (This last account belongs to a very special character in the play - on this it's best not reveal more).

Our hope is this project will enhance our work in the rehearsal room, make you feel more connected to the process, and (of course) generate a little buzz for the project that will translate into new audience.

So, follows us, and let us know what you think; and if you have any kind of experience with new media brought into a process like this, please post your experience below (I believe Waterwell and New Paradise Laboratories involved Twitter directly into performance, and I remember vaguely a Shakespeare play attempting this).