Are you familair with Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.A simple idea -- really, an obvious idea. The good folks have Pinterest have filled a much need niche with a very intuitive set of tools. The "Pin It" button is camped out on my browser tool bar right now, and I'm playing around with it for a history project I'm picking away at.
I think this is a tool theatre makers could use. Let's say a theatre company wants to adapt and develop an all Japanese-American version of Miss Julie, set in Los Angeles in the Spring of 1942. A dramaturg could use a Pinterest board dedicated to this project, and fill it with images of the time and place. A design team could share their visual research with each other, and possibly even sketches and rough drafts of ideas. The director could contribute to such a board, as could the actors. The audience could follow this online visual dialogue between the collaborators, contributing to it in the form of re-pins and comments, thus building anticipation for the coming production.
I hope some bright theatre companies are already doing this. Since there is no such thing as an original idea (although I try, damn it!) I'm sure there is a company in my own backyard doing this right now. If you know of any such brilliant souls, let me know. I'll do a little poking around on my own, to see what I can find.