Stratford Hall

Re/Discovering Stratford Hall AUDIO TOUR

Re/Discovering Stratford Hall AUDIO TOUR

Empowering Visitors to Explore Without Docents

CLIENT OBJECTIVE

Stratford Hall’s goal for the Lee Family Audio Tour was to bring history to life through the tender, patriotic and often scandalous stories of family members who lived in Robert E.Lee’s ancestral home. Their objective was to create multiple tours available on their site specific mobile app that would allow visitors to explore the house at their own convenience and in their own way, without waiting for scheduled docent led tours.

Stratford Hall exterior

OUR APPROACH: CREATING AN AUDIO TOUR LIKE A RADIO PLAY

Collaborating with Stratford’s team, we selected seven family members representing all four generations who lived in the house and placed each one in a different room. These are Idiosyncratic people, each with their own story. Since each character is always virtually available in their room, visitors can choose to experience the house either by following the chronology of the stories, or by following the floor plan of the house.

We wrote scripts based on first person accounts from family members, and then cast and directed voice actors in their roles. Their stories are all about sibling rivalries, love affairs, financial troubles, keeping up with the Joneses – in their case the George Washingtons. Visitors recognize their own concerns here, and find themselves drawn into history.

Lee Family Tree

Time Lapse Video

We also produced a time lapse video for the mobile tour, so visitors can go behind the scenes to see what restoration work on an old house looks like. The camera captured the deconstruction of the 1930s renovation of the Parlor, to prepare it for a more historically accurate restoration in 2015. You can watch an excerpt below.

The (Re)Discover Stratford mobile app uses the OnCell platform and includes three other tours. The project was guided, from concept to completion, by consultant Charles Outhier.

THE IMPACT

Comments on Trip Advisor and other travel sites are positive! “The self-guided tour gave very interesting insight as to how the Plantation operated and survived through the years. Using an ipod and headphones, you’re guided through each room on the upper floor of the main house.”

The app alsonwon the Silver medal for apps at the 2016 Southeastern Museum Conference!

Fun Fact 1

Two of Robert E. Lee’s great uncles, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, signed the Declaration of Independence.

Fun Fact 2

“Lighthorse Harry Lee,” Robert E. Lee’s father, fought under George Washington in the Revolutionary War, and spoke a eulogy at Washington’s funeral.

Fun Fact 3

When Robert E. Lee was just a baby, his father was sent to debtors’ prison and creditors were carting off furniture from Stratford, in lieu of payments.

Services
audio tour
  • concept development
  • research
  • script writing
  • cast & record voices for audio narration
  • music selection and sound mix
  • time lapse video
  • equipment set up
  • design method for staff monitoring
  • produce final video
  • Testimonial
    "The different voices and the music have been things people mention as their favorites. Also the ability to linger....The guided tour spends about 3.5 minutes in there, but a group of self-guiding women spend about 15. When they were listening to the Lee family stops... they were looking up and interacting with the space. One of the women actually starts conducting the music!" Abigail Newkirk, Director of Interpretation & Education
    Category

    Audio & Video

    Tags
    Audio, History, Mobile tour