Interactive Storytelling

Interactive storytelling is great. Not only does the reader get to immerse themselves into a digital world that tells a story, but in some instances, the readers participation can influence the entire story–beginning, middle and end– and its characters if the options are available.

In Donna Leisman’s “RedRidingHood,” the audience embarks on a playfully, but dark retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.” In the work there are no words, which was interesting because if you think about it–there was no use for the words; the story is ubiquitous. We all know what happens to the bed-ridden grandmother; how the wolf looses his “lunch,” so the words would, in a sense, be a little redundant, to older individuals that is.

To elaborate, we could look at a picture book titled “Little Red Riding Hood,” open the book, see that there are no letters, and still know the story just by pictures alone because the pictures will tell the story in sequence as we mentally put the words with the pictures. Sure, we might not know the exact words of the story, but we have a general idea of what is being said in the story due to the repetitiveness of the story.

What I’m getting from the work is a new approach to tell the story of “Little Red Riding Hood,” but in an aesthetically unorthodox way. Some of the imagery in the work is extremely bizarre (Red Riding Hood can become pregnant–at least, I think she becomes pregnant–with twins given you select certain actions within the story, but this is where the work shows off its interactive storytelling elements. There is a dream sequence in which Red Riding Hood is asleep, participants can either awaken her, or allow her to “keep dreaming.” Choosing the latter will open up new story line possibilities, and for some, new interpretations of a story that has remained the same for decades.