The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is taking the concept of the photo booth to a whole new level with its YouBooth.
The Clarice created the YouBooth, which can be found in the lobby, in order to capture narratives from the performing arts community.
The Clarice’s marketing and communications teams worked together to launch the project in September 2011 as a part of The Clarice’s 10th anniversary season.
“We wanted to humanize The Clarice, and show the people that make up our community,” said Erica Bondarev, the associate executive director of strategic initiative “We wanted to create a way to enhance their experience when they come.”
Using the YouBooth is similar to using a photo booth. Users step in and are given prompts to follow, such as asking permission to be recorded and joining the Clarice’s mailing list.
The YouBooth invites participants to express themselves with topics ranging from personal thoughts to campus experiences to opinions on Clarice performances.
“I like how the booth creates a space of reflection in our busy world,” senior theater major Sisi Reid said. “The questions help me reflect how I am as an artist, performer and audience member in The Clarice.”
Individuals are free to express themselves in any way they choose.
“We have videos of people expressing themselves through words, dance or movement,” Bondarev said. “I feel like I get to know our community better by seeing what they do and what they say.”
Once users are done recording, they can submit their video and email it to friends and family.
Bondarev states on the YouBooth’s blog page that all videos are approved, regardless of positive or negative feedback. Videos will be dismissed only if they contain inappropriate language or behavior.
“I thought it was a really neat idea and the premise was very creative,” said second year Maryland Opera Studio master’s student Jaely Turner. “The only issue is that you can’t go back to see the video before it is posted online.”
“I liked having an outlet to share our experiences—both attending and being a part of performances at The Clarice center,” Turner said.
Amanda Gaines is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.