Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war… On Twitter.

On October 30th, I was invited back to the Ottawa Shakespeare Company’s presentation of Julius Caesar. I say invited back because I’d seen the show once already. This time out was to be a bit different though – I’d be live tweeting the show along with a couple other cool cats. Basically, what that means is that we’d be sitting somewhere unobtrusive and “talking” during the show. Providing live commentary of whatever we were thinking as it happened. I was asked afterwards if I’d do a write-up of the experience for their blog, so I thought I’d share here, too.

Julius Caesar, produced by the Ottawa Shakespeare Company

Live tweeting Julius Caesar with the Ottawa Shakespeare Company was a fun time. It sure doesn’t hurt that I’d seen and loved the show one time already, but how often do you get to basically “talk” through a play? I knew I’d be tweeting a lot and ended up sending more than I even thought I would (32 tweets, yes, I just counted) so I was mildly worried going in that some followers would abandon me but they’re largely theatre folk anyway so they were forgiving. There wasn’t a lot of interaction from outside but there was some so that was cool, too.

I actually felt a bit guilty at first. I could feel the eyes of the person sitting two seats over wondering why I had my phone out when they couldn’t. Then again being a professional videographer, I’m used to being the exception to the rule. No video recording during the show. Psh. No food inside the theatre. Ha.

Suffice to say the guilt went away pretty quickly.

I believe the only time I stopped tweeting was during Marc Anthony’s brilliant-powerful speech so I was pretty into the experience, but I’m really glad I’d seen the show before hand. Because it takes time and focus to type a tweet, I missed a lot of the show this time around. Even then, and even as much as I did tweet, there was so much more I’d wanted to say. Suggesting Disney use the plot of Julius Caesar for Star Wars 7, as an example. But yeah, if I hadn’t seen the show or already knew it, I think I’d have been lost.

Now if I ever did it again, bringing a netbook instead of an iPod would speed up my tweeting – though I don’t know if that would be a good thing or not. :)

The big thing I was hoping for and would have liked to have seen (but didn’t happen) was to have been able to see the tweet stream. Maybe putting it up on Centrepointe’s LCD screen outside the studio before/after the show and during intermission, or even projecting it up onto the back wall. (Heck, time it right, and they could even repeat the stream in time with what we were seeing on future nights.) Having live access to the stream would have made a much more interesting experience for the audience as well.

Other than that, it was just too bad there were only three of us. More would have meant more interaction and even the cast and crew could have gotten in on it from off stage or during intermission. Now that would have been a neat experience. “About to go assassinate Caesar in the senate. BRB.”

That leaves only the question: would I do it again? And that depends. Like I said, I missed a lot of the show by tweeting and I’m a purist who hates missing even a line of dialogue. So I’d be hard-pressed to say yes if I hadn’t seen a show already – and if I’ve seen it already, it would need to be a really good show for me to want to see it again.

And that was that. If interested, search #CaesarLive on Twitter and enjoy.

Anybody else got some live-tweeting experiences to share?