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Melissa-Leigh
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Ha Ha. Oh, and by the way...please feel free to make a truly needed end of year, tax-deductible donation to Theater Alliance by December 31st. Visit our website: www.theateralliance.com for more details. Yeah.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2006 on An invitation. at theaterboy®
I'm confused (surprising). Are we commenting on marketing for a small a theatre or fundraising for a small theatre? Well...I'll speak to both. That way I'll be covered. These comments by no means make up a fully comprehensive list of the challenges small theatres face...they are just the first and most prominent in my mind. One challenge I would assert small theatre companies face is the lack of a home. It is, I imagine, nearly impossible to get folks to follow you around the city. Call me cynical, but even the wonderful people who support theatre through attendance still crave convenience. they want to know where they can safely park their car, where they can get a fine meal beforehand, and what type of space they will find when they walk through the theatre doors. Many theatres who do have a home brand themselves, in part, by their location...hence studio...arena..theater alliance. Those who do not have the good fortune to be able to do this..well...that's quite a challenge. SO...you can make this show or that company sound as sexy as you like...but if the patrons can't find it...well then the poor actors are faced with crowds of 2...or...3. And that...well that opens up a whole other can of worms. As for fundraising...well...if you don't have patrons...its hard to get donations. I would say a huge % of a company's individual donations come from long time patrons. In addition, may of the small companies simply don't have the people-power to truly put forth a solid fundraising campaign. Sure an end of year solicitation letter is something most any company with a decent amount of financial means can pull off. But those bigs gifts...the ones that allow a company to do the type of theatre it wants to do without having to count on the ticket sales...well those come as a result of a LOT of nurturing, commitment, and schmoooooozing...so then does a company put their money and effort towards marketing and hope that their earned revenue (ticket sales) cover all their expensises and eventually produce donors...or do they portion out their money between marketing and fundraising. Many questions...and no right answers...its takes a lot of analysis, time, and often times luck to find the right formula. And finally the Fringe...I sincerely applaud the wonderful success of damian and julianne. however, they were in my opinion, dealing with an wholly different beast, complete with its own unique challenges, since the fringe is a contained event...its less about repeat customers, i would think. in addition, it requires little to no long-term commitment from the patron (no FIVE-PLAY Season subscriptions). i would be curious to know from damian...after the 2007 fringe...who returned from the previous year...if they were able to capture the names of the patrons...and how or if they would solicit them for donations. how he thinks what they did in the way of marketing could be truly and usefully applied to small theatres. They were new and exciting in the summer of 2006...and by god..i hope they get the same amount of press coverage in 2007...but again..in all my cynicism...i wonder if the people and the press are too fickle to get jazzed about something that's no longer sparkly and new. i can't wait to see how it turns out in 2007 (and am hoping for the best!) And that is my rsvp to this event.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2006 on An invitation. at theaterboy®