Yesterday I was attempting to start a conversation about fans. My hope was to discuss the ways in which fandom or fanaticism is created...also if/how that can be utilized by live narrative events. This was brought on while thinking about the recent San Diego Comic Con and the enthusiasm of its participants.
Scott wrote - "being a fan means having access to lots of information, insider or otherwise. You can master all kinds of arcana, which makes you see the things in the comic book, for instance, that others can't. I'm a football fan, and I follow all the training camp reports with great passion, so that I know the story beneath the story when the first game is played. Is there a way to do the same with theatre?"
I think theatre could do this, but it requires some changes in the way we think about the event and the pre and post production events. In a conversation I had this weekend with Nathan Robbel, a founder of Right Brain Theatre in Chicago, he was complimentary about the Clay Continent webcomic in that I have kept up some sort of diligence continuing to get some material online even if the show was closed. I told him that as soon as the show was closed I was thinking about its next incarnation (the comic plus a new stage version possibly next year).
This made me think what if the show never closes. When it comes to Clay Continent, what if even if the "run" ends on a certain date...the author and audience know that the show goes on (cough!). How does the show go on? One way is to move the narrative between mediums...the stage show becomes a comic book which becomes a short independent film which becomes a new version of the original show which becomes a series of short stories which becomes a puppet show...etc.etc. you get the picture.
Now some might say, but that is alot of work or that is not what we do...But, if an artist like Sarah Ruhl gets hot and a certain script hits every other LORT and then gets a small independent film treatment which goes to DVD then a sprinkling of live productions at community theaters...
See the connection? The change would to have to be how the initial artist conceived of their relationship with the narrative once created.
How does this tie into fandom? Well, if Fandom can be encouraged by access to lots of information inside or otherwise...well that is the sort of thing that could start to exist if we expanded the scope of medium we use.
The show/story never closes. If the show never closes... even when the run is done, does that provide more opportunity over a longer period of time and greater developed resource of material related to the story...more opportunity for fandom?
Too much work...too much time? Maybe...but Tolkien's fandom didn't happen over night...he had to build that world story by story one hobbit at a time...
Yeah, but theatre doesn't work that way?
Why cant it though?