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Our interviewees are always special and unique, but today it’s a bit more special. We talk to Dirk Neldner, Artistic Director of the Platform shift+ Network. This is a European theatre network that deals with the impact of digitalization on the theatre.
In our article, Dirk talks a little more about the theatre network and explains how an event app can help with the digitalization of theatre events.
LineUpr: Hello Dirk. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself and the Platform shift+.
Dirk: Platform shift+ is a European theatre network that deals with the digitalization of the theatre. Questions that interest us are, for example, how the communication to our audience changes? Which new, hybrid narrative forms are exciting, which digital techniques on and behind the stage can enrich our work?
I am the artistic director of the network.
LineUpr: You used LineUpr last year for a total of four events. What were those events?
Dirk: These were very different events- from a digital conference to a festival, to a creative camp where we created new productions. Accordingly, our target groups were very mixed: artists, scientists, young people, and festival visitors.
LineUpr: What was the decisive argument for you to use an event app? What added value does the event app give you?
Dirk: It started with the fact that we wanted to save the production of printed programmes for a festival. We saved time and also money.
The more often we use LineUpr now, the more we become interested in how we can use the app artistically. We want to test the interaction between artists and audience. Can we use the app to redefine artistic processes?
LineUpr: Who were the typical target groups of these events and how did you reach them?
Dirk: At most events, we already knew all the participants in advance. So we did not go looking for an audience that should learn about us through the app. Or those who we wanted to guide/inform during the event.
With the app, we appealed more to a specialized audience or to our artists and thus improved their orientation to our events.
LineUpr: How did you use the app in general before, during and after the various events?
Dirk: We always sent the app in advance, so that our audiences, who usually travel to many European countries, could inform themselves in advance. The links (here mostly to YouTube) were essential to us because we were able to provide more information in advance than would have been possible via a printed medium.
The focus of our app was the schedule, line-up, and locations. We also gladly offered the possibility to collect feedback from the participants.
LineUpr: How did your visitors react to the app?
Dirk: We mostly received very positive feedback. We were praised that we are breaking new ground in communication through such a digital project. However, we need to get even better in terms of assessment (feedback). Here, our participants are less willing to take up our offers of questionnaires and feedback.
LineUpr: Keyword Challenge. How do you deal with the trend of digitalization? How will this development change the culture of theatre?
Dirk: No part of our lives is excluded from digitalization! Theatre has already changed and will continue to change. But we are convinced that theatre will continue to find its audience as a live medium in the future. It will have to try out new narrative forms and intensify the dialogue with the audience.
LineUpr: Which top three tips would you like to give other organizers when using LineUpr?
Dirk: If you want to use the app for the first time, you should follow the description on your website. This is very useful in understanding how the app works. And there should be enough time to try the app in advance internally. But actually everything is straightforward – I can this say after repeated use of the app. ?
LineUpr: Thank you, Dirk, for the very pleasant interview. Your events and the whole concept behind Platform shift+ is truly unique to us, so we are happy that we were able to win you over to answer these little questions. More information about Platform shift+ can be found on their homepage or on Facebook.
We look forward to your next events and how we can accompany them, and the development of the theatre culture, with LineUpr.