What's the Latest Development?
Since last spring, the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) in Providence, RI has offered a section of "tweet seats" where audience members can sit for free in exchange for their live-tweeting their impressions of a performance using a special hashtag. PPAC marketing coordinator Caitlyn DiPompo says that the seats are in the back to avoid distracting others, and participants are "[asked] to remain discreet while they are tweeting." A recent series of tweets from one audience member described the set design ("amazing"), the costumes ("stunning") and the cast's singing ability.
What's the Big Idea?
The concept is growing in popularity across the country, with theaters in Connecticut and Ohio, among other states, setting aside special seating for Twitter users. DiPompo says that the goal is to "engage theatergoers on social media, and build extra excitement for shows." Not surprisingly, not everyone is on board with the idea; Rebecca Curtiss of Boston's Huntington Theatre says that the audience's experience should stay focused on the stage: "When the lights go down and the show begins, we want the art...to speak for itself."
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