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Newsletter Autumn 2015

There's something in the air in September... perhaps a leftover, even after all these years, of the thrill and anticipation of going back to school. And this year is no exception!

At the end of August, I found out that according to a very idiosyncratic French labor law, I have worked too much in a free-lance capacity for Disney and have to go through a latency period. I won't be creating any magic in the Kingdom for a while. You can imagine how I feel about French labor law!

So in the next few months, if you hear of anyone looking for a storyteller, writer and/or show director with a keen interest in new technologies, give me a shout!

In the meantime, as they say over here, "Quand une porte se ferme, il y a toujours une fenêtre qui s'ouvre" (When a door closes, a window always opens). And as the leaves begin to turn, my windows have opened on some very exciting projects - some new, some ongoing - that have me in a whirlwind of activity...

Sherlock Homes and the Internet of Things is a global experiment in collaborative storytelling run by Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno and Jorgen van der Sloot in partnership with the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab.

The goal is to build a massive connected crime scene consisting of smart storytelling objects. More than 250 people around the world are collaborating to create, design, build and test prototypes that will be plugged into a number of crime scene locations.

This weekend we are running a beta test at the Lincoln Center during the New York Film Festival and the event has already sold out! Players on the ground will play the part of "Sherlocks" while we, "the Killers", guide them via Periscope through the experiences that we have created for them. A connected rotary phone, beacons, NFC technology and an app created by Conductrr are some of the things we'll be testing as we move toward the next phase, which will take place along the Thames River in London during Power to the Pixel / London Film Festival.

On October 24th & 25th, the final stage will be rolled out simultaneously at the Lincoln Center and many other locations, as crime scenes are staged and connected across the globe. I'm thrilled to be a part of the team organizing the events here in Paris!

I'll be blogging pretty regularly about this experience, so don't hesitate to drop in at my site, and if you'd like to be kept informed about the event here in October, please let me know. You can also follow the hashtag #sherlockiot on all your favorite social networks!

I am currently re-writing this show after our first workshop performances last spring. Commissioned by Samuel Sené, director of Musidrama, with music composed by Thierry Boulanger, it is my first attempt at integrating transmedia storytelling into a live theater experience. Many of the characters have on-line profiles, and we have developed an app that allows us to push content to the audience's smartphones during the shows.

The next iteration will include increased push content and an extended experience via social networks over the 24 hours following each performance. Workshop #2  will be in Jan./Feb. 2016. Stay tuned!

The Pitch? A sleep-walker, a night watchman, a hacker, a cybergoth, a serial dater… what do they have in common? They are literally looking for love in all the wrong places: on social networks, apps and on-line dating sites. Six students spend a weekend they won’t soon forget, especially when every moment is immediately shared and tagged on-line...

I was commissioned to write the book for this musical that brings together some of Broadway's greatest hits. The show is going into its second season, with new dates being added regularly. Click HERE to find out whether it's playing near you (in France).

The Pitch? Two young French performers set off to take Broadway by storm. Bright lights, adventure, romance and a good dose of culture shock accompany them as they sing their way toward the “American Dream”. 

This newsletter couldn't possibly be complete without mentioning the show that I opened this summer. The Jedi Training Academy is the first show that I both wrote and directed for Disneyland Paris. I am so proud of the amazing team that helped to put it together - from the set and light designers, to the production team, to the costume designer, to the incredible tech crew and to the wonderful Jedi Knights and Masters who brought the show to life - it was a joy to collaborate with so many talented people! May the Force be with them as the show continues its run into 2016! Here's the trailer:


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