So you’re at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and you’ve got a few minutes. You’ve seen the art, you’ve looked at the gifts, you’ve had a beer. Maybe you’re in the mood to play a game.

Maybe you’re looking for something to engage audiences at your own theatre company.

Take the 2amt challenge.

First, download the SCVNGR app on your smartphone. Don’t worry, it’s free.

Sign in and create an account if you don’t already have one. Then, let it locate you at Actors Theatre of Louisville. You’ll see a list of four simple tasks that will earn a possible 13 points in total. These are simple things like taking a picture of the Press Table in the main lobby, finding me in the crowd, et cetera.

I’d tell you what the tasks are here, but then you’d have no reason to get the app and play along…

One task will ask you to also download the Broadcastr app as well. It’s free, too.

With this app, the challenge will ask you to record a quick audio message. Just introduce yourself, tell us where you’re from and what you’ve enjoyed at the Festival so far. The audio file is automatically tagged to the location–in this case, Actors Theatre–and anyone will be able to listen to it using the Broadcastr app or the Broadcastr website.

Each of these tasks is simple, part of a “game layer” on top of the real world, as the SCVNGR folks like to say. For the theatre world, it’s a fun way to engage your audience with more specific tasks and challenges themed to your current productions or festivals. It’s also a way to drive patrons into your sponsors’ places of business–the bonus round in the 2amt challenge will take you down the street to the 21c Museum Hotel to take a picture. While you’re there, maybe you’ll look around, get a drink at their bar, check out the menu.

Ideally, audiences would engage not just with the challenges and the production but with the sponsors’ business as well. Of course, tasks at sponsors’ locations can be more involved if you’d like, we’re keeping it simple this time for demonstration purposes.

Best of all, this game layer can be activated at any time–you can create these “treks” filled with challenges ahead of time and let audiences complete them as their schedule permits. Use them to build awareness for upcoming shows. You can make it a real live contest, first person to X number of points wins two tickets to the next production, or the tenth person, fiftieth, etc.

Which reminds me. First person to 13 points gets a drink on me.

See you at the Humana Festival!

  • April 1, 2011