Thanks for tuning into the blog of the Purple Pirate (aka Dustin Anderson – Transformational theatre artist).
I just finished performing at the Queensborough Children’s Festival and am feeling great about my choice to spend the amount of time I did on Message in Bottle. It was not an elementary school audience but preschoolers….and they hung in there quite well. Festival Audiences roam by nature but most of my audience stayed to watch this very different style of production and many wanted pictures. It was really affirming. It was really cool that toddlers stayed in the front row for the entire show. I believe is was all the colour changes.
It is an exciting time to be a performer as technology allows us to bring a much higher level of production and professionalism to audiences. Several factors pushed me to this insight, the main one was my experience of performing in Elementary school gymnasiums across the country. Students have a strong emotional association with the gymnasium already and it would be more spectacular for them use stage lighting and a soundscape similar to what they were used to from Hollywood films. This is also an audience or generation that might not get the opportunity to go to live theatre.
After much research I bought some equipment, then exchanged it because it wasn’t going to work. More research and then a steep learning curve of learning how to program these lights that were designed for djs. All the frustration was worth it as it has been a really satisfying experience because the students really engage and react to Message in a Bottle and the amount of detail in the production. I personally really enjoy being under the lights again. I missed performing in theatres and having that level of focus from an audience.
The timing of lights and sound make for a really special experience and allow the planting of seeds of forgiveness.
It is worth all the work.