Thursday, June 14, 2018 — Great cities have both great art and great transportation systems. Think London, Paris, New York and more. How might Atlanta's travel systems, like others globally, link citizens to events and culture? Specifically, do we understand how MARTA is used to attend live theatre? As a response to this and similar questions, the The Platform Performance is now active at the Peachtree MARTA Station (South) through July 1, 2018. The public is invited to sit in actual theater seats and use their smartphones to experience a FREE 360° scene from Theatrical Outfit’s current show, 110 in the Shade, running nearby on Luckie Street through June 24. Every tenth person to engage The Platform Performance will receive free tickets to the actual production, pending availability.
Theatrical Outfit, Atlanta's second oldest professional theatre company, being uniquely positioned downtown (less than two blocks from the Peachtree MARTA Station), pondered: "Why aren't our customers taking the train when it is so conveniently close by?" In May 2017, TO received a $100,000 grant from the Audience Building Roundtable of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to study its typical patron. We asked: "Who rides the subway and attends shows? What would they want to bridge these two activities? How do we provide what they aren't getting?"
Theatrical Outfit has proudly partnered with MARTA, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta, and six other arts organizations (The Alliance, Atlanta Ballet at the Fox Theatre (Nutcracker), Horizon Theatre, The Rialto, Seven Stages, and The New American Shakespeare Tavern) to compile a database of over 300,000 names who were sent a survey about arts attendance and MARTA ridership. One conclusion: less than 10% of theatre patrons ride the subway to a show. However, of those that ride the subway, five distinct segments were identified in over 5,000 responses: The Mobile Middle 36%, Carpools and Careers 30%, Affluent Intellectuals 17%, Thriving Boomers 9%, and Diverse Single Parents 8%.
In short, arts patrons are hungry for transportation options but do not commonly connect that wish with MARTA ridership. The Outfit worked with JWT Atlanta to upend that trend by bringing theatre to riders so that they might see, hear and feel the power of the artform for themselves. Using augmented reality and comfortable theater seats, an exclusive theatre performance has been created for individuals in the Peachtree Center MARTA station, dubbed The Platform Performance - #theplatformperformance. Actors from 110 in the Shade performing “Rain Song” using a 360° camera at the MARTA station and then hosted the video on a hidden online link that can only be accessed from the seats installed at the station. When patrons sit and connect to The Platform Performance wifi and visit theplatformperformance.com via their phone, a 360-degree performance instantly appears right in front of them. In essence, this experience connects riders - and potential future arts patrons - to the magic of live theatre during their commute.
Ad Agency: J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
360° Video Production Company: ECG Production
Tech Company: Keystroke Creative
CURRENT PROGRAMMING: A stripped down and organic reimagining of the classic Broadway musical, 110 in the Shade, the last show of our 41st Season of Character, runs on stage at The Balzer Theater at Herren's through June 24, 2018. Theatrical Outfit’s regular performances of 110 in the Shade are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30PM. Tickets range from $18-$51 and may be purchased online at www.theatricaloutfit.org or by calling 678.528.1500. Group pricing is available. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket prices are subject to availability. Fees and taxes apply.
UPCOMING: Theatrical Outfit recently announced our dynamic 2018-2019 Season of Beauty, which includes five plays, one musical, a Joe Gransden Jazz Series, several special holiday events, a play reading festival, our SummerStage youth camp, community dialogues and partnerships, and much more! Visit: http://www.theatricaloutfit.org/shows/2018-2019-season/ for details.
Photos courtesy of MARTA and Theatrical Outfit. 110 in the Shade cast photo by Christopher Bartelski.