Ghost of Midnight

… about neighbors, community and Front Porch Forum

Local play uses netroots to fill seats

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 by 1 comment

Pamela Polston writes in this week’s Seven Days about the innovative marketing effort underway for the homegrown play American Machine

Word-of-mouth is potent advertising for everyone from plumbers to playwrights. James Lantz happens to be one of the latter — his latest work, American Machine, opens next Tuesday at the FlynnSpace. But Lantz is not relying on the old-fashioned, no-tech kind of word spreading. In what may be a first-of-its-kind marketing approach — at least ’round these parts — the Burlington writer has been covering his electronic bases. Besides the play’s website, Lantz maintains an American Machine blog and e-newletter. The Flynn — which co-commissioned the work — follows the play’s progress on its blog. Neighbors and friends around Burlington are posting notices in support of the play on their Front Porch Forums(in part because opening night is a benefit for the Burlington Schools Food Project). And FPF founder Michael Wood-Lewis touts the play on his blog, called Ghost of Midnight, where Lantz reciprocates with a rave about Front Porch Forum.

That’s not all. Lantz has planned a special “Bloggers Night” — September 27 — when “we’re going to invite about 20 of Burlington’s bloggers to this show gratis,” says a recent post. “The only thing that we ask in return is that our bloggers do what they do best: blog about what they saw.”

The playwright, whose previous work was last year’s The Bus, is careful to note that the bloggers can say whatever they want about the play. But whether thumbs go up or down, there is no denying that Lantz’s grassroots — techroots? — approach is creative. In a Google search for “American Machine, the play,” Wood-Lewis’ blog entry actually comes up first. (Ironically, is eighth on the list.)

Posted in: Front Porch Forum, Local Online, Local Reviews, Media, Peer Reviews, Social Media, Stories

One comment

  1. JR says:

    I saw the play on opening night and it was excellent. It is a quality production that is worth the money. Lantz has told an enchanting story and the cast is only going to embrace the energy in further shows. There is profanity but it is not profane, just a few curse words. I highly recommend getting out of the house and doing something different, like going to a living movie theater. It makes me proud to think that the arts are finally coming to life in Burlington once again and we are potentially on the verge of an immense cultural zeitgeist.

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