by Shari Donk
You turn on a TV show and what do you see in the lower left hand corner? Ten years ago – even THREE years ago, you’d see nothing exceptional. But today, it is likely you will see the TV show hashtagged. #Fringe #Glee #HIMYM. It is becoming extremely popular for TV shows to encourage their fans to tweet about that night’s episode to both follow fan conversations and engage with those watching and commenting. This trend is now making its way into the theater world.
Opera houses across the US are setting up “tweet seats” – a designated section for a select group of audience members given permission to pull out their phones or tablets to tweet during the entire performance. #Brilliant? Yes. It is poor etiquette to chat during any theater performance, but what better way to converse and engage than through twitter. Plus, the tweet seats are in the back and side rows, as to not distract non-tweeting audience members.
It is time for Broadway to hop on the twitter train. Tweet seats allocated for influential bloggers, photographers, and reporters would be a great way for the show to gain even more traction. There are a few Broadway shows who have done a fantastic job of tweeting with fans. Spiderman on Broadway thanks all fans who mention seeing the show for “swinging by” and does a great job at interacting with fans on Twitter.
Next to Normal grew their fan base and even increased sales by tweeting lines of the show and behind the scenes audio to their followers. But other shows, like The Lion King, are surprisingly lacking in the twitter-sphere. Think of all the ways a huge show like that could trend on twitter (and there are a ton!) if they opened up tweet seats to their audience.
Today, most Broadway shows have Facebook Fan Page and some are active on Twitter. In a year, I bet ALL of them will be active on twitter – allowing audience members to tweet along with the show.
Do you agree? Would you sit in a tweet seat area of a Broadway show? How do you think this would benefit/hinder the show? Tell us in the comments below!