The Public ArenaCreating Dynamic Dialogues
Deepening audiences’ engagement with the work on stage while fostering community and collaboration throughout Arena Stage; connecting staff and stakeholders to our artistic vision and mission.
During the 2012-2013 season, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will launch the Public Arena, a new initiative aimed at creating and maintaining a dynamic dialogue between our artists, audiences and staff about the work on stage and the mission of Arena Stage. Through activities including pre- and post-show discussions, expert panels following select performances, online articles, lobby activities and community partnerships tied to the work onstage, the Public Arena will further activate Arena Stage as a public forum and strengthen the sense of community throughout the Mead Center for American Theater. Specific offerings tied to each show will include:
Pre Show Conversations: For select shows and performances, these discussions will be held in Arena’s Catwalk Café, led by Arena’s Artistic Development team.
Engage@arenastage: These panel discussions will involve one or more experts in the content/ideas presented in the performance. They will be publicized and audiences are encouraged to come in specifically for them as well as to stay after the show.
Community Partnerships: Arena Stage partners with other organizations to create artistic “collisions” in the community, when the work on Arena’s stages can intersect and help inform other community offerings. Recent examples include collaboration with the Phillips Collection on a Mark Rothko exhibit during Arena’s presentation of Red during the 2011-2012 season. These activities create conversations around the ideas/content beyond the walls of the building.
The Living Lobby: Arena selects specific shows that lend themselves to an interactive lobby experience for audiences. These lobby activities are designed to integrate and advance the narrative of the ideas/content and the production itself—and are designed with the artists to extend the experience of the play.
Post-Show Conversations: These innovative in-depth discussions of issues raised by the work come in a wide variety of forms, from the more traditional cast-based discussions to experts in subject matter related to the content of the show leading discussions.
Stage Banter: This blog is a lively and information-packed destination on the Arena Stage website that gives online visitors a behind the scenes window into the work.
Extras & Insights: Arena’s online collection of supporting materials, articles, and videos that help the public go deeper into the ideas on stage.
Theater 101: Theater 101 is an extended seminar for theater lovers interested in deepening their understanding of how a show is created. Through Theater 101, participants receive unprecedented backstage access, learn about a show's development first-hand, and engage in a community-building exploration of the magic of the stage.
Program Notes: In each production’s program, Arena Stage will make explicit attempts to connect the choice of the show to the mission and strategy of the organization. Arena also uses the program to link the audience directly to Extras & Insights.