Mezzanine Theater Diary - Beta 9

benpackard
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joined:7/8/19
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Mezzanine Theater Diary - Beta 9#1
Posted: 7/8/19 at 6:53pm

Hi all. Long time lurker here. Please let me know if this better belongs in Off-Topic.

I'm looking for beta testers for my new theater diary app. Mezzanine is an app for logging and reviewing your theater trips. If you've used Letterboxd (for movies) or GoodReads (books) it's not too dissimilar. You can record when and where you saw the show, add a star rating, and write a review. More than 1,500 productions are currently available, covering the last forty years of Broadway history. More shows are being added all the time, and if yours isn't listed you can suggest it via the app.

You can also build wish lists of shows you are interested in seeing, create collections of your favorite shows, or group shows together in any way that you find useful.

You can see some screenshots here - https://i.imgur.com/Pjkv0Cc.png - or if you're interested in trying it out, head over to the sign-up page at https://www.theaterdiary.com/beta. You can submit feedback to this post, via the app, or to the twitter account (@mezzanineapp)

The app is iOS only for now but I would love to add an Android version eventually.

I have lots of plans for the future of this app but would love to know your thoughts. And please feel free to share the beta link with anyone who you think might be interested. Thanks for reading!

Updated On: 10/11/19 at 06:53 PM
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DoTheDood
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As an Android user, dang. I am following your Twitter for any updates about that version. Honestly even having a list of all the shows I've seen and list of what other people have seen would be really cool to see. Hope to see more of this soon

sethepstein12
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DoTheDood said: "As an Android user, dang. I am following your Twitterfor any updates about that version. Honestly even having a list of all the shows I've seen and list of what other people have seen would be really cool to see. Hope to see more of this soon"

Ditto

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#1Elphie
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I'm going through and adding all my shows now (which is going to take a really long time!); this is very cool! 

I wonder if there's a way to add a counter of some sort (to either count my total number of shows, or my total by year, or both). 

benpackard
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joined:7/8/19
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Thanks everyone who has signed up so far - if you don't get invited immediately, it's just because I'm grabbing a slice of pizza or something!

Android - yes please follow the Twitter account for now. I think this will be a common request so I know it's important (well, a deal breaker obviously) to a lot of potential users. 

Counter/stats - I love this idea, thank you! I'm also thinking about badges or tags eventually for certain user achievements. But lots more to work on first.

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msmp
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DoTheDood said: "As an Android user, dang. I am following your Twitterfor any updates about that version. Honestly even having a list of all the shows I've seen and list of what other people have seen would be really cool to see. Hope to see more of this soon"

Third here. I'd love something like this. Is this going to cover all kinds of theatre, just NYC/Broadway+Off Broadway, or something in between? I only ask because I tend to see a lot in NY and regionally here in New England.

benpackard
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msmp said: "Is this going to cover all kinds of theatre, just NYC/Broadway+Off Broadway, or something in between?"

Yes! It takes a long time to get the data added but my hope is to:

a) add more shows and productions (starting with West End, then tours, regional, off- and off-off-Brodaway, etc)

b) Allow users to enter their own shows an productions - useful for everything I miss, plus community theater, high school, production, etc.

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dramamama611
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Be sure to come back and let us know when it's available for android!
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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JBroadway
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I downloaded the app last night and took a look through this morning.

Looks like a fun idea, but I’m not sure if it’s for me. I already keep extensive lists of the shows I see. And I’ll bet that using your app instead to keep track of them might be more fun and comprehensive, but I’ve been seeing theatre regularly for over a decade, and I feel like it would just be too much of a time-suck to try to transfer all of the shows over to the app. But if that weren’t the case, I’d o obabky really go for this! Best of luck!

Also, is there a social component to this? I’ve never used LetterBoxd, but I’ve always gotten the impression that you can look at other people’s lists, and thereby keep track of your friends’ movie-seeing. But I can’t seem to find any features like that on Mezzanine.
benpackard
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Totally understand. Perhaps I can find a way to make that initial import more efficient eventually. Thanks for trying it out anyway.

I expect to add more social elements before long. Viewing others' diaries and lists (if public) will be one of the first such features.

A quick question, since you're basically my ideal user (if not for the onerous import task) - is there anything you capture on your lists that I'm not collecting in the app?

astorian_ofthe_heart
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This looks fantastic! I'd love a better way to streamline my history of shows that doesn't involve notes or tedious google docs lol. The social aspect would be fun too. I really like writing theatre reviews, so this would at least help me keep everything in one place. Looking forward to trying!

benpackard
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astorian_ofthe_heart said: "This looks fantastic! I'd love a better way to streamline my history of shows that doesn't involve notes or tedious google docs lol. The social aspect would be fun too. I really like writing theatre reviews, so this would at least help me keep everything in one place. Looking forward to trying!"

Exactly what I was trying to replace!

Regarding the reviews - are they something you would share in the app or do you think of them as private? I expect I will need some setting to control this per-user (or maybe even per-review), but interested in your perspective as a fellow review writer.

vampire musical
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What a great concept! Love your concept! I'm another Android user eager to try it out :)

astorian_ofthe_heart
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benpackard said: "Exactly what I was trying to replace!

Regarding the reviews - are they something you would share in the app or do you think of them as private? I expect I will need some setting to control this per-user (or maybe even per-review), but interested in your perspective as a fellow review writer.
"

I, for one, love sharing my reviews. I post them on my blog, and I'm an active member of Show-Score. However, I think it's very important to do exactly what you said, make it an option to show reviews or not. It would be really great if we could control the visibility of each review. As an actor, I don't want someone to see my takedown of a production before I've had the chance to edit it and make it constructive and meaningful instead of a bunch of ranty notes lol. But yeah, I would personally like the ability to share my reviews on the app.

mfaye9
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This looks fantastic and I'm excited to give it a try! One question I have is whether there is any export or import functionality built in. I already have an excel database with all of the shows I've seen, theaters, etc which would be cool to import. Likewise, it would be nice to be able to maintain that separate database by exporting to it every so often while still using the app as my main entry method. Make sense? 

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JBroadway
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benpackard said: "l”A quick question, since you're basically my ideal user (if not for the onerous import task) - is there anything you capture on your lists that I'm not collecting in the app?"

 

I also like to keep track of venues, theatre companies, directors, and playwrights!

benpackard
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JBroadway said: "I also like to keep track of venues, theatre companies, directors, and playwrights!"

Thank you!

 

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heartandpart
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I love this idea! I’m a huge Letterboxd user so this is right up my alley. Looking forward to future versions that have a more social aspect!
Theatregeek811
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I downloaded it last night! Logging in all of the shows I've seen is fun. And the feature to make lists is really handy!

benpackard
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astorian_ofthe_heart said: "I, for one, love sharing my reviews. I post them on my blog, and I'm an active member of Show-Score. However, I think it's very important to do exactly what you said, make it an option to show reviews or not. It would be really great if we could control the visibility of each review. As an actor, I don't want someone to see my takedown of a production before I've had the chance to edit it and make it constructive and meaningful instead of a bunch of ranty notes lol. But yeah, I would personally like the ability to share my reviews on the app."

Very helpful, thank you! 

benpackard
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mfaye9 said: "This looks fantastic and I'm excited to give it a try! One question I have is whether there is any export or import functionality built in. I already have an excel database with all of the shows I've seen, theaters, etc which would be cool to import. Likewise, it would be nice to be able to maintain that separate database by exporting to it every so often while still using the app as my main entry method. Make sense?"

This is a bit tricky because everyone stores their spreadsheets with different columns, etc. Plus, matching a production with something in my database would be a bit hit or miss since the spelling or punctuation could be slightly different (and some shows might not even be in my database at all). That said, I'm adding it to my list to think about some more.

Export is a different story. I fully intend to provide data export eventually. In addition to the reasons you mention, it's a good idea to grab a backup of your data once in a while.

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I just signed up! I use Letterboxd all the time, an app like that for theater would be so useful, right now all I have is a Google Doc.

 

ETA: I really like the way the app works and the layout, my only suggestion would be to add Off-Broadway shows. Or is this only supposed to be for Broadway shows? I see way too many Off-Broadway shows to send all the missing titles. Maybe you can get all that info from Playbill.com or various companies like Signature, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, etc.

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Updated On: 7/9/19 at 07:34 PM
LxGstv
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Updated On: 7/10/19 at 07:58 PM
benpackard
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Cape Twirl of Doom said: "I really like the way the app works and the layout, my only suggestion would be to add Off-Broadway shows. Or is this only supposed to be for Broadway shows? I see way too many Off-Broadway shows to send all the missing titles. Maybe you can get all that info from Playbill.com or various companies like Signature, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, etc."

Yep definitely want to get Off-Broadway in there, probably my second priority after West End. Unfortunately it just takes a long time to get everything added (1,500 productions so far). I'm also working on a feature for entering your own shows and productions on your diary rather than having to suggest them. Not sure when that will be ready but it is something I want in there soon.

Thanks for trying out the app and for your feedback!

LxGstv
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How about an option to add a picture as well?
I know that it would be similar to a view from my seat, but why not combine all the features?! A list, review and a pic...