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The days of collecting a souvenir program from your favourite theatre show may be past thanks to a new digital development by a 17-year-old Bendigo student.
Year 12 student Bailey Cook has helped create a world first digital iBook program for Nexus Bendigo Youth Theatre’s production of Oklahoma.
Traditional print programs with cast photos, biographies and production team details will still be available but the eProgram, available through iBooks, is filled with videos and exclusive content.
Cook said he has always been interested in the behind-the-scenes aspects of films and television which lead him to creating videos of how a theatre production comes together.
“I have always been fascinated with how movies or TV shows are made. Before watch a movie, I always watch the behind-the-scenes stuff first,” he said.
“That inspired me to do little behind the scenes stuff for Nexus. I like bringing that aspect to the theatre world.
“It’s starting to be done more and more with professional shows but anything to show the local community what we're doing is great.”
Cook has been involved with Nexus since its inception in 2010.
As his experience in the theatrical world grew, he began to get more involved in the technical aspects of the company.
He runs the Nexus BYT website and traditionally creates a 20-minute behind-the-scenes clip for the case to have after each show wraps.
After beginning a series called “This Week in Nexus” he developed the idea for the traditional souvenir theatre program to be something people could have on their phones or tablets.
“Because I love technology, we were looking at ideas to make Oklahoma a bit more modern and came up with the digital program idea,” Cook said.
“The Royal London Opera have done it but their's is an app, not an iBook. The way we are doing it has never been done.
“In a theatre context it is a world first. It is exciting for it to be in Bendigo.”
The digital hobby will also count towards Cook’s VCE score with his work being created as part of a school subject called visual communication.
Cook has also designed the posters for the Nexus production as well as creating a video trailer for the show and filming a Nexus flashmob in Bendigo Marketplace.
“Theatre is a niche thing, so I have been trying to make it exciting to my demographic. I wanted people to see posters and wonder if it's a movie or a play,” he said.
“I’m really hoping people don't dismiss the idea. The digital program is released a week before the show, so people will be able to get to know the cast and crew before they see the show.”
The digital program costs $6 half the price of the print program. It also contains eight times the amount of photos that the tradition program has as well as videos and other exclusive content.
“It's an impulse buy but it goes on all your devices,” Cook said.
“We really tried to make it a product people want. It’s a new way of looking at theatre.”
Oklahoma is on at The Capital from July 21 to July 23. For tickets go to www.thecapital.com.au/Whats_On/OKLAHOMA