That got your attention. Playwright and screenwriter Jason Grote’s new play, 1001, is set to premiere in New York on October 22nd. Jason has done what not many playwrights have done (that I know of — tell me if not!) and created a fictional newspaper for the play, with links to a diegetic blog and a wiki. Although it isn’t an ARG, it certainly plays with the idea of creating a fictional universe as a precurser to the live experience.
I think that’s a good question – the producers want to let the site expand “virally,” but my assertion is “viral marketing” is nowhere near as effective as it was a decade ago, and anyway, looking at it as marketing for the play rather than an extension of the experience is against the spirit of the project – and, ironically, that the less it’s like “marketing” it is, the more likely it is to catch on. People hate advertising, and that includes me. I also that “new media” and “old media” aren’t as separate as everyone seems to think they are.
But, to be fair, the site has been my baby since the beginning, and I don’t know how to do coding, so I think it’s largely up to me to promote it. I’m planning on doing this via email and my blog, as well as social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. There will probably be a note in the program about it, and I’m planning on discussing it in interviews and talkbacks as well.
The director of the play uses the term “hyperlinking” to describe how it turns on a dime from the ancient Persia or the Arabian Nights stories to an NYC in the present and an imaginary future, and I think this can combine those as well – I love the idea of combining the very ancient art of theater, which is unidirectional but happens live and in person, with the postmodern art of Web 2.0, which is interactive and multidirectional, but also mediated by machines.