Playtesters Wanted! Help us playtest our new immersive theatre experience

January 24, 2018 by

Date: Saturday 3rd February 2018, 2-3pm / 4-5pm
Location: BOM (Birmingham Open Media), 1 Dudley St, Birmingham B5 4EG
Free but advance booking essential via this link: https://goo.gl/forms/BTIB9RVMGYIalp7I3

As we continue to develop and refine ‘A Moment of Madness’ our immersive theatre meets urban gaming experience, we are looking for a group of willing volunteers to help us test some of our new material.

So if you’re happy to look beyond some very rough edges, and you’re excited about trying out a new interactive real-world game really early in its creative development, you’re exactly who we need right now!

This playtest will focus on getting to grips with the narrative, and we will be seeking playtesters’ input into what aspects of the story are making an impact, and where we need to work harder to make things clear.

Each playtest session will last 1 hour, and testers will work as a group. There will be an opportunity to provide feedback at the end with Katie Day, Artistic Director, The Other Way Works and John Sear, Technologist and Experimental Game Designer.

No experience is necessary to take part, only a willingness to engage. (16+)

Please sign up here to book your place – thank you!

Katie Day & John Sear
www.theotherwayworks.co.uk

(If you have any further questions please email them to info@theotherwayworks.co.uk)

A Moment of Madness is supported by BOM and Arts Council England.

Project funding success for A Moment of Madness!!

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We’re very excited to announce that we’ve been awarded funding from Arts Council England to make A Moment of Madness a reality.

An immersive theatre meets urban gaming experience, A Moment of Madness explores the morality of surveillance and our expectations of the private lives of public figures.

The project pioneers exciting new ground in the areas of digital technologies and interactive performance, bringing these together with puzzle-based gaming in a way that we have never seen done before.

We’ll be developing the production with support from our partners BOM this year, with the premiere scheduled for Spring 2019. We know that’s quite a long time to wait, but we promise it will be worth it!

In the meantime watch out for opportunities to test some of the elements in development over the next few months.

Protagonist Feasibility Project: Related Activity

January 20, 2015 by

The Guardian: Facebook apologises over ‘cruel’ Year in Review clips

Facebook has apologised after learning, yet again, that not everything can be done algorithmically. Some things, it seems, need the human touch.
http://gu.com/p/44fgx/stw

 

BBC Your Story

This web app uses your Facebook profile (or manually entered personal info) to create your life story through the BBC News Archive.

http://yourstory.pilots.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk/

It appears to filter the content displayed using your date of birth, and whether you like Music, Comedy, Politics or Sports.

New collaboration for Lightwoods Park – Development blog – Katie Day

January 17, 2013 by

Katherine has been busy over the last few months researching for the Lightwoods Park, Sandwell Bandstand piece. This is a completely new story, developed through conversations with several community groups and park users.

One of the main features in the park (apart from the Bandstand obviously) is skate ramp. We were keen to involve this in our story somehow, and feature the people who use it regularly.

This led us to Mr Naylor, a local MC, keen BMXer and skate park regular. We’ve asked him to write some small sections that will be part of the audio experience, and eventually we’ll record him performing them too. This is our first collaboration with an MC, so its all new territory. We like the rough texts he’s sent through so far, so we hope that we can bring it all together in a way that makes sense! His style is very different from Katherine’s (who is writing the rest of it), so it might be a bit of challenge to integrate it all. We do think its worth the trouble though, as it adds a local authentic voice to the piece, and has the potential to open up the finished piece to a different audience.

Bandstand Development Blog – Old photos and things I am thinking about… – by Katherine Maxwell-Cook

January 27, 2012 by

Bandstand Development Blog – Old photos and things I am thinking about… – by Katherine Maxwell-Cook

We are currently making two new Bandstand Audio Experiences for the bandstand in West Park, Wolverhampton. We are working with our commissioning partners Black Country Touring to develop and promote these new works.

I’m Katherine Maxwell-Cook, and I’ll be writing the story and the text for the experiences. One will be for a solo listener/participant/audience member, and one will be written for a pair to experience together.

(more…)

What is Bandstand

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Bandstand is a collection of digital audio performances for Bandstands from The Other Way Works.

The audio performances are located in the landscape, and can be discovered and experienced using your smartphone’s GPS in conjunction with our Bandstand App.

We are currently developing this platform, and will be creating three new pieces of site-specific content for Bandstands in the Black Country, West Midlands in collaboration with Black Country Touring. We will publish the App through the Apple and Android App Stores along with this new content in Summer 2013.

We are seeking further commissioning partnerships with Festivals, Venues and Promoters to extend and develop this digital platform in 2013-2015, through the commissioning of site-specific content for Bandstands around the UK and beyond.

WHAT

The Bandstand App represents a new way to experience Theatre.

With the App running on a smartphone (iPhone/Android), users will discover interactive content when they come within a short distance of real-world Bandstands in parks across the country. These well-loved historic features once centres of music and live performance are now often empty and deserted. This App reinvigorates these spaces, filling them with memories and images, in the form of new performances.

Bandstand is a location-based app that feeds off inbuilt maps and uses the built-in GPS sensor and compass in iPhone and Android smartphones. Bandstand locations will be logged in a database and integrated with Google maps.

WHY

It’s so sad to see these spaces empty and deserted, when once they were the hubs of entertainment, music and dancing.

They are also irresistible empty stages, in almost every park up and down the country, and beyond. Its exciting to start filling them with memories, images, and new performances.

THE EXPERIENCE

Immerse yourself in a site-specific theatre experience every time you visit a Bandstand in your local park. With a solo or two-person option, just plug in your headphones and get ready to experience a new way of seeing. Ideal to be experienced alone on a quiet Saturday, or with the buzz of other participants as part of a festival or event.

Solo version: The beautifully scored soundtrack will draw you into an imagined world filled with ghosts of the past and chance meetings yet to happen. Let your imagination be led by the meeting of the real location and the stories and sounds that you hear in your headphones. And if you’re feeling brave, accept the invitation to take to the stage and breathe new life into this forgotten performance site.

Two-person version: Make your own piece of theatre for each other on and around the Bandstand. Its a lyrical story of love and loss, with a few laughs thrown in, and a sprinkling of old-time dancing. You are cast as both actor and audience member. The soundtrack will prompt you to make small actions. In turn your partner will perform their own part, augmented by the soundtrack in your headphones which will make sense of their actions and create drama, tension and hilarity for the two of you.

ARTISTS INVOLVED

Katie Day – Will lead the project as concept designer and director

Katherine Maxwell-Cook – Writer and researcher

Mark Day – Composer and sound designer/engineer

App Developer – We are working with Bristol-based Calvium’s locative media design tools AppFurnace to develop the iPhone/Android Application, and as technical designers to publish the App through the Apple and Android App stores.

Download

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We have created a proto-type Bandstand App, which can be downloaded for iPhones below (iOS4 or above).

The App is designed to be used on location at the Bandstand in Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham (the story strongly references the actual location), but the audio can be experienced anywhere by pressing the ‘EXPERIENCE NOW’ button if you’d like to try it out.

How to get the Bandstand Non Geographic App on your iPhone

Get with QR Code (Barcode)
The easiest way to get your Test Version is with its QR code, below.
Step 1: Download & Install Calvium Player. It’s a free app.
Step 2: Load Calvium Player, and click the + icon.
Step 3: Click ‘Scan & Add’ and scan the QR code. Your Test Version will start downloading automatically.


Step 4: When it has downloaded, tap the entry in the list and press PLAY.
Get with URL
Step 1: Download & Install Calvium Player. It’s a free app.
Step 2: Load Calvium Player, and click the + icon.
Step 3: Type in the URL http://the.appfurnace.com/test/gG1BD/ and hit download.
Step 4: When it has downloaded, tap the entry in the list and press PLAY.

No iPhone?

If you don’t have an iPhone, you can listen to or download the mp3:
Download the audio

iPod users can download the podcast:
iTunes

Brought to you by The Other Way Works

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Bandstand is a new project by The Other Way Works.

The Other Way Works is a Birmingham, UK based theatre company formed in 2001. We create highly interactive performance experiences, frequently for an audience of one at a time. Our theatre is playful and draws the audience into the very heart of the experience.

We create our work in a deeply collaborative style, and constantly push these collaborations in new ways. Our work often responds to ’site’, and we find it stimulating and rewarding to create and perform our work in non-traditional spaces.

Our previous productions include the acclaimed Black Tonic, a hotel-based interactive thriller that was performed in hotels in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and London; and I am waiting for the opportunity to save someone’s life, a performance and installation in the Mailbox Shopping Centre, Birmingham.

The Other Way Works is made up of a group of talented artists (performers, composer, film-maker, writer, scenographer) brought together under the artistic direction of Katie Day, who directs all of the company’s productions. The company was largely dormant throughout 2010 while Katie took up an invaluable Cultural Leadership Programme Peach Placement secondment to iShed/Watershed in Bristol, where she produced the pioneering Theatre Sandbox (http://theatresandbox.co.uk) scheme in collaboration with six national venues.

The Other Way Works returned to producing new work in Spring and Summer of 2011 with the successful creation and premiere of Avon Calling.

Development Blog – Old photos and things I am thinking about… – by Katherine Maxwell-Cook

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We are currently making two new Bandstand Audio Experiences for the bandstand in West Park, Wolverhampton. We are working with our commissioning partners Black Country Touring to develop and promote these new works.

I’m Katherine Maxwell-Cook, and I’ll be writing the story and the text for the experiences. One will be for a solo listener/participant/audience member, and one will be written for a pair to experience together.

I’ve been looking at old black and white photographs of the bandstand in West Park and trying to imagine what it was like to be there in a bygone era. The Black Country website (http://blackcountryhistory.org/) is an amazing resource of historical pictures, pamphlets and articles from the region. It looks like the actual layout of the park hasn’t changed much since it was originally landscaped in the 1880s.

But a photo of the bandstand from 1994 looks rather miserable and decrepit in comparison to the restored glory in which it now stands, with its red and white striped pillars like old Victorian sweets along with the refurbished roof and floor. How it looked and was used in 1948 when part of our story is set, still remains somewhat of a mystery.

Questions I am asking…

What was it like in the park after World War II when much of it had been turned into allotments for the war effort? Were bands playing on the bandstand during this time?

How will the male and female sides of the story differ?

What effect did the war have on the relationship between the man and the woman?

What is it about the bandstand that is so alluring, even today?

I enjoyed reading this description of the Black Country from the mid nineteenth century, ‘The appearance of the country around Wolverhampton and Bilston is strange in the extreme. For miles and miles the eye ranges over wide-spreading masses of black rubbish, hills on hills of shale, and mashed and muddled coal dust, extracted from beneath and masking, as it were, the whole face of nature.” (http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/articles/Parks/Parks.htm)

It reminded me of the importance of public parks in the industrial heartlands; even in the last century they were weekend sanctuaries; an opportunity to stroll on the green grass, go boating or picnic under the sheltering trees. Somehow I’ll try to weave this sense of escape into the stories I’m writing.

Katherine Maxwell-Cook