Greg Lundgren had a story. It had been written as a novel, as a screenplay and for the stage, but somehow, it just never found a home...until PDL employed it as the content for an innovative utilization of social media.
Blogs read like a bad script. But they are script format, with characters and emotions and ideas about the world. What about taking this architecture and dropping a real script into it? Register the characters and post their voices as a live, unfolding story.
What became of this unconventional idea and this unpublished story was a piece of blog theatre entitled George Washington.
On September 18, Jed, Arne and Greg sat around a room with three computers all logged in as different characters. They each had a script which they cut and pasted and then shouted, “posted — next!” Four hours and 341 comments later, PDL was half way there. They called it "Act One" and took a break. See Act One.
A woman in Wee County, Scotland posted: “Who'd have thought one of my favourite stories would be published not in a book, but in the comments section of an unreadably dull games review? Please, oh, please let it be completed before the trolls take over! I must know what happens.”
A week later, PDL returned to their computers and on September 24th, posted the second act on Regina Hackett’s art blog on the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Another 360 posts and we had done it. See Act Two.
As crazy as a task as this may sound, we recognized the great potential to use public comments on media blogs as a stage for presenting plays, stories, improvisation and other acts of text based art. In an age when the blog forum is filled with chaos and random chatter, we saw an opportunity to create and present stories embedded in other organizations' websites.
We encourage you to read the entirety of George Washington. We encourage you to reconsider the possibilities and potential for collaborative fiction. Over a year has passed and George Washington is still there, existing online, free to anyone with a computer and a little bit of time. Maybe someday it will be turned into a movie or published as a novel. But life is short and we must move fast. There is so much to do.