In an experiment with Google's Creative Lab, the Royal Shakespeare Company extended its stage online, to let the world watch and even participate in a new kind of theater production. The RSC performed A Midsummer Night's Dream in real time over three days, as a group of commissioned artists created new characters inspired by the activity in the play, and shared their sub-plots on Google+. The program let audiences see the story unfold through new eyes and an online stage.

Launch the campaign
Published
October 2013
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The Story

In an experiment with Google's Creative Lab, the Royal Shakespeare Company extended its stage online, to let the world watch and even participate in a new kind of theater production. The RSC performed A Midsummer Night's Dream in real time over three days, as a group of commissioned artists created new characters inspired by the activity in the play, and shared their sub-plots on Google+. The program let audiences see the story unfold through new eyes and an online stage.

We set out to stress test the relationship a modern audience has with live theater. Allowing technology to infiltrate that relationship, we explored the reverberation of storytelling through social media and encouraged conversations outside of the traditional narrative arc. Through this, we hoped to inspire people to explore innovative ways to introduce new technologies to the audience and performer relationship.

The Technology

The Results

If this had been a traditional performance, success would have come down to audience turnout. Luckily for us, we didn’t need to find a theater big enough to accommodate the 110,000 unique visitors we had over the course of the weekend. It allowed the RSC performers to reach out and engage with Shakespeare in new ways. For Google, it pushed the limits of its social platforms. Over the weekend, 3,000 pieces of content were pushed through Google+ — that's a piece of content released every five minutes.

110K

Unique visitors during the weekend of the project

742%

Increase followers for The Royal Shakespeare Company Google+ page

3,000

Pieces of content were released, 50% created by the audience

Launch Date June 21, 2013