The Bavarian State Theater with its three venues – the Residenz Theater, Cuvilliés Theater and Marstall – is one of the most tradition-steeped and important theaters in Germany and, with a current ensemble of over 50 actors and 450 employees, also one of the largest. Martin Kušej assumes directorship for the 2011/12 season and brings SIRUP on board as the digital lead agency.
Start of a new era
To start the season and kick off the new directorship, Martin Kušej presented his entire ensemble in the experimental play Eyjafjallajökull-Tam-Tam. SIRUP and director Robert Lehniger created a truly unusual web event with the digital adaptation of the production. They build a bridge between theater, film and the internet, and present great dramatic art for cultural enthusiasts and users. SIRUP is responsible for the entire realization, from the creation to the technical implementation.
The movie version of the play forms the heart and soul of the "online stage." Eyjafjallajökull-Tam-Tam is the story of relationships between passengers who are stranded at an airport. More than 200 video tiles that fill the screen like a mosaic provide direct insights into individual scenes. Curious users can gather impressions of the many actors via the film clips and jump to the corresponding scene in the main movie with a click of the mouse. Labyrinthine changes in perspective are part of the web concept: the tiles are rearranged each time the page is loaded. The non-linear storytelling creates a variable, yet complete work that is always different. Anyone who wants to enjoy the full experience of the piece can also view the three-and-a-half hour movie in HD quality.
The innovative cross-media project also received a great response from the trade press and was awarded the Hammer in GOLD prize from the HORIZONT trade journal (issue 43/2011):
"Well-known TV actors such as Eva Mattes, August Zirner, Sophie von Kessel and Tobias Moretti are part of this unusual project, whose aim is to get new target audiences interested in theater. Given the truly unusual multimedia production, perhaps the reverse effect might be achieved: intellectual theater lovers discovering their love for new media."
Welcome to the fourth stage at the Residenz Theater!
SIRUP then creates a completely new website for the playhouse that allows visitors to intuitively immerse themselves in the world of theater through magazine-style pages. Visionary Artistic Director Martin Kušej sees it as the theater's "fourth venue". The curtain rises on creativity, inspiration and an inquisitive look behind the scenes:
A mashup of different content from the world of the renowned Munich Residenz Theater greets users on the homepage of the new, responsive website. Anyone diving in here can easily lose themselves in the Residenz universe – and that is precisely what we want!
Alongside classic editorials, the magazine-style website offers a wealth of theater-related social media activities. Interfaces allow for feeds of in-house Facebook posts and Tweets, as well as movie and sound clips integrated via social media players (vimeo, SoundCloud and YouTube). Through the integration of social channels, the Residenz Theater is making greater efforts to reach out to new target groups. While browsing the website, new content on related topics is loaded through semantic mapping. Furthermore, a tag cloud with emotional phrases such as "home" or "prop jungle" provides inspirational access to content. The unusual and richly illustrated insights into the theater generate interest in the current performances while also stimulating ticket sales, which can then be reached via the affiliated ticket store with a single click.
Beside all the depth of content, those searching for practical information will find what they are looking for quickly: the current performances are placed prominently in a slideshow and linked directly to the ticket shop. The program gives an overview of all current productions and the save function allows performance dates and times to be transferred to various devices, such as your own smartphone. A service area with information about subscriptions, directions and a comprehensive press lounge completes the offer.
As the digital lead agency, we assumed the full realization of this project – from digital brand management and strategic planning, web conception and design to the technical implementation – and have guided the Residenz Theater in the continued development of the website since the launch until summer 2019.