Written on April 3, 2013
Each month leading up to the summer Fringe Festival, we interview an artist that participates in our programs. We hope to paint the picture of what it is to be a self-producing artist in our city.
While on the road we spoke with Liz Sykes and Adam Stackhouse from AVAdventure Productions. They will be producing in the 2013 Fringe Festival from July 11 to 28. We were quite intrigued by their description of their original show that is heard through two-channel radio headsets. Hope you enjoy getting to learn a bit about this up coming show!
Julianne Brienza: Briefly describe the type of work you do.
Liz and Adam: AVAdventure Productions creates unique entertainment, educational, and teamwork experiences for a variety of audiences. Productions vary in scale and audience, and are often delivered via “silent disco” technology, mobile devices, outdoor theater, and/or internet video content. Liz Sykes and Adam Stackhouse are the co-creators and owners of the company.
JB: Tell us a little about your show that will be at this year’s summer Fringe Festival.
L & A: Double Frequency is an original theater production delivered through two-channel radio headsets. Actors will perform in a silent theater space, lip-synching to pre-recorded dialogue and performing choreography to broadcast sound effects and music. Audience members will be able to switch between the two channels as they wish, discovering inner monologues, new soundtracks, varying dialogue, and additional unique audio effects; no two audience members will experience the exact same show. For example, in one scene the audio on “Channel A” may correspond to the dialogue being lip-synched by the performers on stage while the audio on “Channel B” features their thoughts not vocalized to the crowd. Switching between these channels as events unfold allow audience members to control the way they observe and interpret the narrative, thus engaging the viewers with a higher level of interactivity.
“Audience members will be able to switch between the two channels as they wish, discovering inner monologues, new soundtracks, varying dialogue, and additional unique audio effects; no two audience members will experience the exact same show.”
JB: How do you manage wearing different ‘hats’ as a self-producing artist? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
L & A: We do it all — writing, casting, producing, blocking, tech — there is an invigorating satisfaction as a self-producing company, and luckily our strengths fall alongside the great talent we surround ourselves with — storytellers, actors, and media specialists, among others.
JB: What do you want the audience to experience during your show?
L & A: The audience experience is crafted to be simultaneously personal and collective. The delivery of the audio through the headsets is extremely intimate: Each audience member has both their own two speakers through which to hear the narrative, as well as two channels that can be used in the selection of their own, individualized audio track, creating a very personal experience. Simultaneously the performance retains a unique communal quality traditional to audiences at most standard theater productions: The uniting sense of experiencing a live story event with a large group. We hope the audience experiences both the personal and collective aspects of the show, while feeling empowered to drive and discover their own narrative track within the framework of the performance. Additionally, we hope the end of the show is simply a starting line for the viewers, who will seek tocompare the things they heard to those of others in audience, piecing together new perspectives, content, and story long after the theater has closed.
JB: What makes your work unique?
L & A: To the best of our knowledge, no other performance company or production house is creating or delivering theater through multi-channel headsets. Although the “silent disco” phenomenon has been around for years (and is picking up steam in the U.S.), we are the only company utilizing this equipment in the pursuit of original theater productions.
JB: What does “success” mean to you?
L & A: For us, “success” equates to a fantastic, and original audience member experience, primarily resulting from the feeling of controlover the content experienced due to switching between audio channels and the post-show interpretations and conversations with other attendees. Success means a story that creates more stories and more shared experiences.