Alley Theatre approached Agentic to create an interactive companion website for their 2014 rendition of George Bernhard Shaw's 1893 play Mrs. Warren's Profession. Alley Theatre re-imagined the production as a postmodern re-versioning of the controversial classic, which merged theatre, live music, interactive media and the politics of the sex trade.
Directed by Marisa Smith, the play was staged at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver's downtown eastside neighbourhood in the spring of 2014.
Alley Theatre developed a plan for a website that would integrate interviews, documentary style video, 180 degree panning navigation and discussion boards. The site is intended as a focal point to discuss and examine prostitution, both in modern times and historical context. Agentic was tasked with creating a large amount of content, graphics and interactive design in just a three week turnaround. The site would launch with the limited run of the stage production of Mrs. Warren's Profession at the Rickshaw theatre in April 2014. After the production was wrapped, the site is intended to live on and continue the discussion of the complicated issues surrounding prositution.
Agentic was able to achieve the 180 degree site navigation using Hype. A large amount of video content, hosted on Vimeo and embedded into the site, is displayed upon clicking hotspot on the graphics, which open a lightbox. Agentic created the original graphics with a custom photo shoot in Vancouver's downtown eastside, the setting of Alley Theatre's production of this material, and a neighbourhood long associated with both prostition and the outreach organizations existing to provide comminity support. These images were then pieced together to create a panaromic shot which we merged with historical images from the Vancouver Archives of this area throughout the ages. The resulting image is the backdrop of the site and represents the voices of this neighbourhood, with echos of the past layered on top of current day. This image is also meant to invite the user to examine what has changed and what things have remained consistant in this troubled and dymanic area.
The project was developed with the assistance of Creative BC and the British Columbia Arts Council.
Agentic faced the challenges of creating original graphics, navigation, and embedded content into a site that would be both interactive and engaging. But the largest challenge was creating a full interactive experience in only three weeks, to allow Alley Theatre to promote their stage production of Mrs. Warren's Profession, and still incoprorating the array of features and content needed to make a rich and engaging site.
While the play is currently not staged, one can still explore the interactive website www.mrswarren.ca.
The production has been nominated for a Critics Choice Innovation Award and costume designer Nita Bowerman was also nominated for Outstanding Costume Design.