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DT:TV Case Studies

Five Minute Theatre: co-production with National Theatre of Scotland

Envirodigital created larger scale, but smaller environmental impact, live productions for arts, cultural and heritage organisations, event organisers, and content producers by adding a digital element to them.
Co-production: Five Minute Theatre, National Theatre Scotland

UPDATE: June 2012 – Five Minute Theatre wins a Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) in the category of Best Technical Production – well done everyone involved!

Five Minute Theatre in an Hour!”, is AmbITion Scotland‘s latest webcast masterclass, exploring the digitisation of live theatre content, that Envirodigital achieved working as co- producers together with National Theatre Scotland. Watch the case study to find more out about this extraordinary virtual and live production.

“Recognising that the internet had revolutionised the way that audiences responded to theatre, Five Minute Theatre opened up the business of creation internationally – and the Company was overwhelmed by the response from contributors around the world…Five Minute Theatre captured the potential of the internet to bring theatre out of venues and into the home – similar experiments )most notablyby London’s National Theatre, and the New York Metropolitan Opera) have tended to film and broadcast big productions. The National Theatre of Scotland was determined to try a different tack. Through Five Minute Theatre, the definition of theatre-maker was expanded, with first-time performers, amateur groups, schools, critics and radio stations taking their place alongside many established actors, writers and directors.” – National Theatre Scotland, 2012 Programme.

Press Reviews
“A 21st century event that expressed and celebrated the wild and beautiful diversity of Scotland today in a thousand different voices” – THE SCOTSMAN

“This isn’t just about professionals. This is about joining in and showing off talent in a way that captures the crossing of boundaries between audience and performer and where participation is a communal need” – THE HERALD

“By handing the reins over to the people of Scotland… NTS has proved itself a true champion of homegrown national theatre” – THE GUARDIAN THEATRE BLOG

Increasing reach, scale, accessibility, impact and being environmentally more sustainable
In total during Five Minute Theatre, a twitter trend was created (#fiveminutetheatre was the top trend in Glasgow on the day) and there were over 6000 hours of theatre, 207 pieces viewed online in 24 hours. To put that into context:
NTS’s July 2011 touring production, Knives in Hens is 1.5 hour viewer hours. 6000 viewer hours online is therefore equivalent to 4000 people watching a one and a half hr production (that’s equivalent to around a sold-out 2 1/2 week run at a venue like the Traverse – a midscale scale venue). So as well as being popular, the digital performance is environmentally more sustainable too! To compare it to the live tour, say half of the 4000 audience had to travel 15 miles on average to get to the show – not unusual in Scotland outside the cities. If they travelled in medium sized diesel cars, over 18 tonnes of carbon would have been emitted. Producing, distributing and consuming the show online saved that emission. And that’s not even counting the impact a big theatrical production in a venue would have created. So a show that was responsibly international, green and environmentally friendly and impactful.

(Additionally, nearly 70 viewers watched the webcast of the case study online, and a third of them offered to calculate the carbon emissions they’d saved. 286kg was the total saving – equivalent to making 16302 cups of tea, or running 9.4 PC monitors for a year in working hours!)

We helped NTS strategise, plan and implement how to webcasting technologies for the production, to help present to the world 24 hours of live and recorded live theatre on June 21st 2011. We also helped NTS plan the strategy for audience participation and engagement with the project.

STV supported Five Minute Theatre with a partnership to expand the reach and marketing of Five Minute Theatre on their channels. They chose to partner the project once they were happy that we could guarantee the quality of the event and the technology.

Related posts:

Envirodigital appointed technical consultants by National Theatre Scotland
The art of webcasting
The art of webcasting (part 2)