GODSPELL Introduces 'Kindle Seats'
Following the success of Godspell's February 19th "Tweet Seat" experiment, when audience members in designated areas were allowed to use their cell phones to send out Twitter messages during the performance, producer Ken Davenport announced today that the show's April 22nd evening performance will be Broadway's first "Kindle Night."
"Our Tweet Seat night proved that we can expand the Broadway audience to include those who lack the attention span to watch a full act of a musical without giving in to the need to call attention to themselves by broadcasting their thoughts to their friends on Twitter," says Davenport. "And what is extremely important is that we can do it without disturbing the enjoyment of those who wish to give their undivided attention to the artists who work so hard at creating the magic of live theatre at every performance."
"So we're using this knowledge to see if we can attract the kind of people who would rather read a book than attend a Broadway musical. Our research shows there is a significant potential audience that would be more willing to buy tickets to Broadway shows if they knew that they could just take out their Kindles and catch up on their reading if they got bored. We've also noticed a great interest in the idea among Broadway fans looking for a date night option when their partners have no interest in seeing the show. We're even making up special Godspell reading lights and ear plugs for them!"
Godspell cast members had many positive words for audience Twitter users after the February 19th performance and many have expressed excitement for the upcoming Kindle Night.
Says the popular Telly Leung, who earns big laughs nightly with a string of celebrity impersonations, "As Broadway actors we're very aware of the special bond between performers and audience members that makes live theatre so exciting. Godspell is a very presentational show performed in the round so we're always looking out at the crowd, noticing their reactions. We really appreciated the opportunity to perform on Twitter Night because knowing there were designated areas of the theatre where people had their eyes focused on their keyboards and were more concerned with thinking up clever things to tweet than with sharing the bond with us helped us know which sections of the house to ignore so we could pay greater attention to those who were willing to watch us for the entire performance. We're really looking forward to the chance to do that again on Kindle Night."
"Hand held technology is here to stay and will only advance to greater things every year," says Davenport. "When the theatre discourages a potential ticket-buyer's desire to send out a text, read a book or pretty much do whatever they want during a live performance, it will only serve to decrease the number of people who would make theatre-going a regular part of their lives. But by ghettoizing these people to their own special section of the theatre, at least until the generations who were raised to pay attention at public performances die off, we can satisfy everyone's needs."
BroadwayWorld wishes its readers a very happy April Fools Day!