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MSLCE Student Gets Creative, Uses Pokémon GO to Promote Musical

By Sarah Bergeson

My internship at Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park has mainly consisted of taking charge of all social media content as well as the creation and scheduling of e-newsletters for the theatre.

When I started at the beginning of the summer season, the organization used these emails as well as Facebook and Twitter to digitally spread awareness; now, we’ve added Instagram and Snapchat as well as some new types of content. Where before it was mainly promotional images, now I’ve started included behind-the-scenes content from rehearsals, interviews with staff members, and challenges. Most recently, I incorporated these types of posts into the promotion of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The process of promoting this show started over a month ago at their first rehearsal. From that point on, I attended rehearsals once or more per week to take pictures and video as well as get a feel for the overall spirit of the production. When rehearsals moved to the theatre itself, I was there every night documenting how things progressed as various design elements were added. Videos previews of rehearsal footage were shared daily as we approached the first performance, and the theatre’s fans watched and re-watched them by the thousands.

A unique challenge I was given for the show was the idea to capitalize on the popularity of the new mobile game “Pokémon Go,” which debuted while the show was in its last week of rehearsals. Since there is a song in the show called “Go Go Go Joseph” and there are 12 brothers in the cast of characters, I created a real-world version of the game called “Joseph Go” that could be played at the theatre before performances. Figuring out the logistics was difficult, but creative thinking paid off in the end, and the game was a hit!

By the end of their run, the show held the record for highest attended production of the season. As I move on to another creative team and begin the promotion process again with our final production of the summer, Mary Poppins, I am excited to see what else I can learn and how else I can help Theatre in the Park reach new audiences.

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