by John Stoehr
The Deuce Theatre just moved to town. They have a new show. It's called The Emperor Is Naked. It features Andrea Studley, Michael Catangay, Heather Moss-Layman, and Chad Layman. It opens Oct. 24 at the North Charleston Cultural and Civic Complex (at the Navy Yard).
The experimental play was inspired by the bungling of the Bush administration and the attacks of Sept. 11. Deuce Theatre wants you to come check it out. But before you do, they asked Justin Nathanson to make a video. So that you might have a taste of what's to come before you take time out of your busy schedule.
This is a very wise move on the part of an unknown theater company. But it's also a wise move to be emulated by other more established performing arts companies.
Making a video of your work, letting people see it before they commit, is a practical move to attract potential ticket buyers by tailoring marking strategy to new media behavior that people already do: that is, watch videos on the internet.
NBC did this for its coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics this past summer. Instead of keeping people away from leaked video (from a variety of global sources), the network encouraged people to watch, which some said led to the biggest TV audience of the opening ceremonies.
Food for thought.
Here's the Deuce Theatre's video: