Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2019

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Museum Experience, Limited Budget

Be Washington: It’s Your Turn to Lead , George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA

In this first-person, interactive experience, visitors face crises that Washington faced in his presidency (four possible scenarios), hear from advisors and choose a course of action while on the clock, then learn how Washington himself acted.

In a period-looking space equipped with state-of-the-art gaming kiosks, actor Chris Jackson (George Washington in “Hamilton”) appears onscreen to introduce the topics. The room design, inspired by Congress Hall in Philadelphia, contains 18 two-person kiosks. Theatrical windows on the left and right of the theater change in color to suit the topic and mood of the scenario.

While based on primary, 18th-century source material, the first-person approach, interactive elements, rich 6K media presentation, and time-pressured gameplay are all designed to appeal to millennials and Gen Z participants – guests with very different media expectations than previous generations. Some distinguishing attributes:

  • Gamification meets edutainment meets Theater!
  • Engaging, entertaining and highly educational!
  • Individual or group/network mode
  • Can be deployed in classrooms anywhere
  • Web version leverages the same media and gameplay as the theater version

In addition to welcoming everyday guests, the “Be Washington” theater can be used to host education, leadership, corporate, and governmental groups for custom facilitated sessions with Mount Vernon experts. The large 6K screen includes a picture-in-picture capability that allows the facilitator to present additional information to further flesh out the topic and facilitate discussion. "Be Washington" is an excellent example of bringing historical education to life in a present-time environment.

Find out more about TEA member Cortina Productions

Award Credits