BOLDtext Playwrights will be sharing the results of their R&D THRIVE project on Tuesday 29th June 2021 10am-12 , as part of an Arts Connect open event taking place online. Tickets can be booked HERE.

We were awarded an Arts Connect Thrive research and development bursary 2020-21 to explore how young people 14-25 engage with short-form digital content. Our aim is to use this R&D to reflect on and innovate our short-form theatrical writing practice, while developing strategies to build up our younger audience.

As part of the project, young people were surveyed about their viewing – what drew them in, which content they returned to, what made them switch off. We particularly wanted to focus on characterisation, structure and tone. We are also exploring virtual reality and augmented reality theatre and how that can be used to appeal to a younger audience. We’ve consulted academics, researching web series and their contrasting narrative structures, as well as transmedia where a story is told across different platforms delivering narrative in whichever way best suits each platform, e.g. a crowd-sourced whodunnit like The Last Hours of Laura K.

A current focus for us is audience interactivity, where their role is one of interrogator – even participant – of the story, fully invested in it, rather than a passive spectator consuming a fixed narrative.

Our project has been somewhat complicated by lockdown and the closure of schools and colleges in January, but we were lucky to secure other routes to elicit survey responses. We will be engaging with Arts Connect, other Thrive bursary holders and Local Cultural and Educational Partnerships to share our results.

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