How on earth can you find this unicorn called ‘new theatre audiences’.

With tough times in the WA economy, some presenters are seeing their numbers tumble for some performing arts, especially theatre.

Now we have the problem it’s time for some solutions.

In October, CircuitWest started  new project  called Take The Drama Out Of Marketing Theatre .

The project will bring together the ideas, tricks, knowledge and history of the creatives marketing theatre across the state, the country and the world from artists to producers and presenters .

One of the eye opening findings from Europe was the neglect of regular theatre audiences. Learnings said if people put more time into making theatre people feel special, creating marketing directly aimed at them and maybe offering exclusive opportunities to engage creatives they would see a higher level of ticket sales . Instead, theatre goers who are treated just like everyone else become disconnected eventually and venues need to replace them.

Producers like Performing Lines and presenters like Mandurah Performing Arts Centre have been contributing their experiences and wins in converting new audiences in the project

According to Performing Lines they start by talking to artists and asking why was the work created and what experience will the audiences have? Theatre marketing is about an experience and this should be the basis of the language used to attract audiences, what experience the artist was expressing,

ManPAC’s Ali PInder talked to her project to engage theatre audiences…

We found that our customers were seeing theatre marketing  alongside  many other genres. This often led  them to make ‘safe’ choices often  choosing tribute shows of artists they knew  over all else. We decided to extract  theatre from other events on the programme.

 We made more of a focus on the benefits of each theatre work, created a program for the theatre season and invited many people who may have never seen theatre before. Whilst this approach is still a work in progress, MANPAC is succeeding  with this targeted  way forward based around what our audience will get out of attending. As we provide bigger engagement on each work, this is bringing  new people into the theatre

 CircuitWest will end this project with a resource called Taking The Drama Out Of Marketing Theatre. If you are involved in marketing theatre and you want to share with the other people on the project, please contact Sam Lynch