As writer and director, Rik Lander’s aim with The Memory Dealer was to create a dramatic experience where audience members felt they had really become part of another world and another set of lives. The story was told through multiple media: an app that delivered narration and musical score via headphones, interactive installations, diegetic audio, prop flyers and newspapers, and encounters with actors. Rather than simply view the unfolding story, audience members were immersed in it and expected to become actor and author. Lander offers an insider’s, auto-ethnographic perspective on the realization of this pervasive drama. He uses audience feedback to explore whether he succeeded in making this change to their role without arousing their self-consciousness. He also examines whether plot and characters could be as complex as in a movie or conventional play and which of the multiple forms of engagement served to immerse and which to alienate the audience?
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