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Lola's Lab

 ​Lola's Lab pioneered the use of experiential learning through the use of a highly visual art direction and story-based immersive education. Lola's Lab's mission was to empower children to explore the world and confidently express their imaginations. Through our stories, art, and experiences, Lola and her team of extraordinary actors nurtured the next generation of creative problem-solvers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

    The thing is, the place was just an empty classroom, but Lola was able to make the children see so much more in their imaginations. My daughter was so completely immersed in the story that she was that she felt like she was far, far away.

 

 

- Janet Elman, Executive Director
of the American Association of Museums

From 2010 - 2018 Lola Lombard wrote, produced, and directed over 40 original immersive audience adventures paired with interpretive curriculum and projects in complex monthly pop-up environments with visual and performing artists. Lola's Lab was a land of many stories; each was developed into a dramatic play with its product family of scripts, unique characters, curriculum, and story-based merchandise, including interactive books.

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Creative Strategy 

Lola's explosion of creativity made the brand's marketing and website experience stand apart from other arts programs through the use of her original character designs, photography, colorful illustrations, and graphics.

It was just as unique in the Live experience! In the Story Camps, which were 1-5 days long, the characters live appearances created a mysterious atmosphere of surprise. The scripts were written with cliffhangers and urgent story-based problems that would enroll and motivate the students to invest in themselves. This created a desire for the children to collaborate on solving problems that the characters were having in real-time. As the stories moved along, children participated in thematic breakout sessions, including maker labs, expressive missions, and collaborative design thinking challenges.  

 

Together, the children built a collective imagination; they were deeply invested in the story and their missions together. The full impact was an experience unlike anything on the out-of-school market, traditional education, museum-style learning, or family entertainment.

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Results

Seven years of adventure experiences and thousands of families participating.  

 

Lola's Lab created a wonderous, imaginative environment with a pipeline of over 40 productions with repeatable, evergreen content personalized by students in unique ways every time they participated. 

Lola's Lab also performed interactive productions at the National Children's Museum and other venues. By the end of year 4, Lola had developed interactive storybooks. In 2015 Lola's Lab won Arlington Magazine's Top Vote Getter Status for best camp. And by year 6, Lola 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, Lola ended live productions in year 7 to focus on the reinvention of the story content for web-based platforms and took a long look at the next growth steps. It was apparent that without a larger production company investing to carry out what Lola could visualize, Lola's Lab had come to the end of an era. However, the dawn of innovative storytelling with online environments incorporating new ideas and technology might be right on the horizon.

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