If Shakespeare was correct all those centuries ago that, indeed, all the world’s a stage, then social media is the newest venue. Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater this week premiered Theodor Fontane's "Effi Briest” on Facebook, in what it dubbed the first live performance for the social networking site.
Some 1,200 joined the theater’s Facebook group before the curtain call to see Fontane's 1984 tragic tale of the aftermath of an affair adapted for the (computer) screen. The social media storytelling included status updates, wall posts and tagged photos, as well as interactive elements. Viewers were encouraged to vote on their favorite wedding dress, contribute to a crowd-sourced love letter between characters and three small parts were cast with audience members.
“It was a great opportunity for us to reach out to our Facebook friends in a different way, and we got many positive comments and lots of feedback,” says Rebecca Rasem, a spokeswoman for the theater, adding that future Facebook performances were a possibility.