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New Goodman Website Is Only Stage Dressing

By Suzy Evans in Arts & Entertainment on May 21, 2009 5:20PM

2009_05_Goodmanwebsite.jpg It’s no secret that theaters are trying to find a way to engage audiences in the recession, i.e. get people to come to their shows so that they then make money. (It’s not rocket science.) Theaters like the Goodman are probably struggling less than the low-budget storefronts since they have access to more marketing dollars to attract audiences, but we imagine they’re in a similar predicament. The Goodman just launched a new website, which while attempting to be innovative is really nothing more than a large marketing ploy.

The site does the same thing its still-existent old website does, it just gives it to you Goodman-style: big, bright and shiny. You have to click “Enter Site” to begin the “experience” (wow interactive!) and then you can select one of the shows in the 2009-2010 season to learn more or you can click on the link to become a subscriber. The site has a full-screen mode so the site feels less like another open browser tab and more like a DVD. However, the only real difference from the old site is that the show summary, performer bios and related articles links fly on the screen through a flash application instead of by reloading the browser screen.

We’re guessing it probably cost more to develop than it’s going to bring in through subscriptions and donations, but if you’re really fascinated with the Goodman, theater and social media, it’s worth checking out. Yes the intro video with Artistic Director Roberts Falls is not great quality and drags on a little long, but the idea is there. The site could use some interactive games or Goodman trivia or anything to disguise the massive PR tool. And we hope this new format is expanded since we really think it could provide a new online experience for both the theater enthusiast and the curious explorer. When the format does catch on, the Goodman can always say it had the idea first.