Lanterman Ukulele Rendezvous - An Experiment in Event Non-management
On Sunday, May 29th 2011, we will premiere what I hope will be the first of many "Lanterman Summer Whites Picnic and Ukulele Rendezvous" annual events.
This event is a bit of a departure for me. My previous productions have been characterized by structure, scheduling and organization. A certain amount of latitude was provided for creative people to be creative, but we always knew whose job it was to do what, when. That is not the case here. This event is deliberately unstructured, and is intended to be more like a party - where the guests are not passive observers but ARE the show.
This will be a very interesting thing to observe. The key question is how much people will participate and how much they will passively wait to be entertained. There will be chances to make music, sing, dance, and play vintage '78s as well as picnic and look splendid. I am cautiously optimistic, but, as I have never attempted anything like this on this scale before, I am still a bit apprehensive.
However, if we can demonstrate that something like this works, it is a very promising model for future events at this and all other cash strapped historic sites -- places which can't afford major special events, but could easily manage lightly structured, make-your-own-fun historical "theme parties" which might actually have the effect of bringing in a more supportive, more engaged constituency than would a structured, expensive production.
Well, I hope to see as many of you there as can make it, and come prepared to pitch in and be the party - rather than quietly sit back and watch the show. Look marvelous, play a game, dance in the ballroom, play music, sing a song, join in a song, play records -- it will be an event where the more you put into it the more you, and everyone else, will get out of it -- a lot like life I suppose.