Arts & Culture

6th March 2021

An Interview with Ryan Carter, the Barn Theatre’s Creative Director for Digital Content

The Secret Society of Leading Ladies has now opened to widespread praise, so we asked the creator Ryan Carter for his insight into the production and his reflections on where the theatre industry should be headed as the pandemic becomes a thing of the past.

You recently joined the team at the Barn Theatre as Creative Director of Digital Content. The Barn has very much been leading the way in online theatre through the pandemic so what are your hopes for the Barn Theatre going forward?

Ryan Carter: “I want to make sure we keep raising the bar. Our projects get traction because they’re innovative or mould-breaking, as soon as we repeat a project 2 or 3 times, it’s not innovative anymore! I want us to keep growing and finding new ways to entertain / educate and uplift our audiences.”

What are your hopes for online theatre more broadly beyond the pandemic as people start to return to the theatre in person?

Ryan Carter: “People are using digital theatre as contingency at the moment, which is awesome and makes a lot of sense. The USP [Unique Selling Point] of digital theatre is its accessibility, that you can reach anyone with a smartphone, laptop or TV. When live performance comes back, I hope the industry still invests in its digital offerings.”

The Secret Society of Leading Ladies is obviously a very unique concept for a musical theatre concert. Where did the concept come from?

Ryan Carter: “Wanting to produce something new! We’re nearly a year into Lockdown, we’ve seen living room concerts, Zoom concerts, specially produced one-singer-one-piano concerts, so I wanted to know what could be next! Rather than leaning away from the digital, I leaned right into it and produced something that forces the audience to be involved.”

What has the process of creating The Secret Society of Leading Ladies been like?

Ryan Carter: “Madness! I have never spent as much time in post-production as I have on this gig. It was a solid 10 day edit, followed by 2 weeks of me stitching it together. There are over 890 individual video clips on the back end of Secret Society, each one of those had to be scripted, shot, edited, mixed and captioned. So it’s been alot! Worth it I hope!”

What do you hope the impact of this innovative idea will be on the wider theatre industry?

Ryan Carter: “I would love for more theatres to try this kinda thing. I’d obviously love to also produce more of it myself. I hope it’s a nudge in the direction of continuing to marry tech and art together?”

What can people be looking out for from you in the coming months either online or in theatres?

Ryan Carter: “Well I’m a resident with the Barn, so you can be sure that there’ll be some more innovative stuff coming through them. I’m also working on #TurnUpLondon again this year, which is awesome. I’ve also got some other bits and pieces on the go but in this climate I’d never want to jinx it!”

We certainly can’t wait to see what Ryan creates next and it’s sure to be brilliant and innovative if Secret Society is anything to go off! Be sure to follow Ryan’s Twitter and Instagram pages for the latest updates.

Don’t forget to get your tickets for The Secret Society of Leading Ladies!