LOLA'S LAB was a children's art and edutainment production company. I integrated my writing, production and design abilities to nurture a child's confidence through creative imagination.
Beginning in 2010, I wrote, produced, and directed over 40 original immersive audience adventures paired with interpretive curriculum and projects in complex monthly pop -up environments with extraordinary visual and performing artists.
Lola’s Lab was a pioneer in its use of a highly visual style and story based immersive experiential learning. The days were driven by a process of conjuring collective imagination among participants. I wrote scripts to activate a linear unfolding of information enhancing the associative learning inside the story context
During this time I was experimenting with book and merchandise development, video production and adapting our program for e-learning, achievement levels and participant interface technology strategies.
To activate the content, live characters interacted with students throughout the day. This primed students with a personal relationship to the story and created a mysterious atmosphere of surprise. I employed cliffhangers and gamification in the writing to enroll and motivate the students into invest themselves the story adventures and to collaborate on solving problems which the characters were having in real time. These ideas were prototypes in the breakout sessions which included maker labs and taught principals of design thinking and collaboration.
Story adventure camps were 1 - 5 days long. Children were deeply invested in the story and their missions together. The training during our programs impacted the children at home, helping them build creative confidence, and collaborative skills. The full impact was an experience unlike anything on the out of school market, traditional education, museum style learning or family entertainment.
7 years of live experiences
The business has served thousands of families and gave me a platform to exercise a wide array of creative and management skills while working with extraordinary visual and performing artists. As the writer/ illustrator it allowed me to create an imaginative brand with a large catalog of original material and products. I continue to turn the plays into new formats of interactivity today.
I created a pipeline of over 40 productions, with repeatable, evergreen content that was always able to be personalized. Lola’s Lab was a land of many stories, each story was a play with it’s own product family of scripts, unique characters, curriculum, and story merchandise. We also performed short interactive productions at the National Children's Museum and other venues. By the end of year 4, I was developing interactive story books for sale. In 2015 we we won Arlington Magazine's Top Vote Getter Status for best camp. And by year 6, I began to format the live program for licensing by outside organizations. The program was presented by Encore Children's Theater in 2018 and a request for more again in 2019.
In 2019, despite the request for more, I ended live productions in year 7 to focus on reinvention of the story content for web based platforms and took a long look at how next steps of growth could not continue under my own direction without a larger production company to carry out what I could visualize. We had come to the end of an era in many respects but the dawn of a new one professionally where I knew I was best served to work on innovative storytelling in environments with sizable production budgets for incorporating new ideas and technology.