“Meet Diana Danko” is a performance where anything can happen. Not only the ending, but all events are subject to change based on the input of the audience.
Online & in real time
Every performance is played live by the actors – the input of the audience is incorporated immediately.
Powered by cutting edge technologyWe use machine learning technology to sort the input of the audience, which is then turned into directions for the protagonist.
- Oct 30th 2017: World premiere of “Meet Diana Danko”
- March-September 2017: Development and Rehearsal
- Feb 28th 2017: Start of Kickstarter
- Oct 2016-Dec 2016: “Diana Danko in Concert” runs
Founder: Jakob Schindler-Scholz | Facebook
Note: Interactive features work only on desktop and in the YouTube App, not in mobile browsers.
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Imagine you are at a bar, and you are immediately drawn to this fascinating, yet slightly sinister woman. You try to figure out what to do, but she is already coming over to you, chatting you up, and before you know it you are on your way home together. As you pass through a dark alley, she leans in close to you, but her mouth is not seeking yours, but instead aiming for your neck. You feel a sharp, burning sensation and something wet running down your skin. She smiles at you, showing her blood-covered fangs.
A bit dazed and slightly weak in your knees you decide to still follow her home, drawn to her in a way that is completely new to you – only to find out upon your arrival that she already has two loyal servants who are all but thrilled about your arrival.
As you are standing there, trying to process all of this, Diana suddenly says goodbye and goes to her room as she sleeps during the day, leaving you in the company of two very determined women not at all eager to get more competition in the battle for Diana’s affection.
We created Diana Danko in Concert (Page in German) for local short theater festival Mimamusch in Vienna. The first question we asked ourselves was: How can we make it as easy as possible for the audience to feel free to do whatever they want, to interact with us in whatever way they come up with? The basic setup was a concert which goes terribly awry after the vampire singer is interrupted feeding, leaving the audience with a dangerous being clawing at the doors while having to decide how to deal with the situation.
We developed the performance rather like a game than a theater piece, testing at a very early stage to see what worked and what didn’t in terms of engaging the audience. We came up with a sort of tutorial, asking very small interactions from the audience at first, increasing the stakes as the situation progressed.
While “Meet Diana Danko” is going to work slightly different due to the fact that it does not have a physical audience, our experience with “Diana Danko in Concert” (and also various other projects created in the context of Urban Games Collective Play:Vienna) enables us to provide that same level of openness and interactivity for the project.
Why we want a different kind of art
Currently, most of society views Art as something completely separate from every life, which in turn means that artists are viewed as a special kind of people who somehow mysteriously possess the talent to create art – see also this article: Why we need a different view on art and society.
However, we disagree. One of the basic beliefs that led to the creation of Meet Diana Danko is that really, everyone’s an artist. For this project, it means you have as much power and control over and responsibility for the performance as we do. Of course, we prepare ourselves, but in the end it is a true collaboration.
That also means that, ideally, creating art is viewed as common a skill as is writing today. Nobody would think of praising a person writing down a grocery list, despite it being a necessary and productive thing to do. We believe viewing art as a part of everyone’s life instead of a skill only a select few possess would dramatically change the world for the better – and this project is our attempt at a tiny step in this direction.
Diana Danko: Powered by gender equality
A personal Note from Jakob (Creator of “Meet Diana Dano”)
This project and its predecessor would not exist without the many, many men and women who are constantly fighting for gender equality in every aspect of politics, but also everyday life.
Why is that? For the past months, I have been taking paternity leave to be at home with my little child, while my wife went back to work. While taking care of an infant is an overall challenging job, it is not exactly intellectually challenging and from time to time leaves you with some headspace thinking about your current projects, or simply art and life in general. So, whenever there was time, I spent it developing the story and the characters, and the details of our interaction design in my head, meaning in the evening I could simply write down what was already completely formed in my mind.
Without this time being away from work and having my perspective on life and work in general challenged by a tiny strong-willed bundle of energy, I would have never developed the idea for this campaign. I am immensely grateful for that, but I also know that this time was not given to me at random, but fought for for a long time – both legally, so I get a part of my old salary while being at home, and culturally, so my environment accepts and encourages this decision.
Also, part of the money we want to raise is my cost of living for the 6 months it will take us to develop the project. Since me and my wife both work, this amount is considerable lower than if I had to sustain all three of us by myself. So to put it bluntly, gender equality not only made this campaign possible, it also made it cheaper (which also makes it much more likely for us to hit our goal). If you agree that that’s a good thing, try to contribute to gender equality whenever and in whatever way you can. If you don’t agree: Go away – chances are you wouldn’t have much fun with the performance anyway.
ImagiNation produces interactive online experiences. Founded as a follow-up to the Performance Diana Danko in Concert at the Mimamusch Festival 2016 in Vienna, its goal is to provide a unique playful blend of gaming, storytelling and theatre and to challenge traditional concepts in this fields.
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