Like the jet boat, the bungee jump, and even the humble pineapple lump; this is a true New Zealand invention. ‘Xerxes’ Atlas’, the world’s first wikimusical, aims to re-connect the theatre with young people through the power of the internet as a tool for collaboration.
The term 'wiki' - like 'open source' – usually refers to a website or free software designed for multiple people to collaborate by adding and editing content. For Xerxes’ Atlas this means anyone with internet access from around the world can contribute.
Chairwomen of the Xerxes’ Atlas Board, Bridget Marsh, said “declining theatre numbers, especially among younger generations, is a very real threat to the industry. We’re reaching out to a younger audience by developing a musical that connects with them through the internet and social media.”
Xerxes’ Atlas is about community and collaboration on a scale not seen in modern times in theatre,” said 28-year old creator and Board member Jade Wood. “It means anyone with internet access from around the world can contribute the music, lyrics and even choreography.”
“People can visit the website right now to read the song briefs and hear others’ contributions,” says Wood, “bringing together creative people from all around the world.”
Marsh is former Head of Performing and Screen Arts at UNITEC while entrepreneur Wood has a background in website development. Other members of the team include Business analyst Chad Carter and Lawyer and Documentary Edge Film Festival Organiser Alex Lee.
Information about Xerxes’ Atlas is accessible online. Read more on their website wikimusical.com or alternatively, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.