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3 Magic Secrets to Community Theatre Success

3 Magic Ways To Achieve Community Theatre Success

There are so many times that I go and support local community theatre productions and they just don’t live up to expectations. Admittedly, amateur groups are exactly that; amateur. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be good. Really good. People don’t just go to see local theatre to support their friends and family that are in it. They go to have a good evening with local people. Your job is just to keep them coming back.

Spectacle

If you can create this, you’re onto a winning streak. From performing Shakespeare to Sister Act, all shows have spectacle of their own and it’s your job to prise it out of the actors and fill the audience’s hearts with the moral of the story. If you’re performing Romeo and Juliet for example, you want the audience to come away wanting to live every day as if it were their last feeling lucky to be alive and to have loving friends and family. If you’re performing Legally Blonde, you want the audience to come away feeling that they won’t judge people as much on their looks but really allow them to make an impression on their hearts (they won’t achieve this, but they’ll try. Hey! It’s human nature, what can you do?). Plus of course, there’s the spectacle that you can create with set, sound and lighting. If you can impress your audience with your technical ability, if they know all the effects are ‘homemade’ they’ll be putty in your palms.

[bctt tweet=”From performing Shakespeare to Sister Act, all shows have spectacle of their own and it’s your job to prise it out of the actors and fill the audience’s hearts with the moral of the story.” username=”jnpantoscripts”]

Community

Lot’s of amateur theatre groups forget that the key to selling tickets (and long term survival) is being the heart of the community. Often, these productions stem from a wish to create a community event and atmosphere but as these initial founding members leave, move on (or die out!) these aims can become lost. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t make professional shows,  but just remember if you can help local causes and local people, if you can embed your group in the heart of your community, there will always be lots of support for your productions.

[bctt tweet=”Lot’s of amateur theatre groups forget that the key to selling tickets (and long term survival) is being the heart of the community. ” username=”jnpantoscripts”]

Diversity

This is a word that is bounded around a lot at the moment, particularly within the arts but for me it means a lot of things. Diversity is all shapes, sizes, colours religions, disabilities, sexual orientations and gender identifications. In your community you probably don’t have someone that represents all of these things but you should be open to having it. I’m going to take the example of someone with a learning disability to demonstrate how this can make such a huge difference to their lives. Many amateur groups do not take members with learning difficulties making excuses that they aren’t able to support them during the productions however I know a group that does this very well and as a result people always come away from the show saying “Isn’t it super that they allow everyone a chance to be on stage” or backstage if they prefer. The group local to me has ‘enablers’ or ‘buddies’ which help the person who has some difficulties on and off stage, saying lines, dancing and enjoying themselves. This can be such a huge part of that person’s life and their friends and family are so grateful that this group have given them the opportunity to have a go and get involved.

[bctt tweet=”Friends and family are so grateful that this group have given them the opportunity to have a go and get involved.” username=”jnpantoscripts”]

Diversity doesn’t just apply to members though, it also applies to shows. If you can present a diverse range of entertainment, all to a high standard then you can really make a difference to your community’s cultural horizons. Here’s a list of things you could have a go at:

  • Pantomimes- great fun for cast and local families
  • Musicals- always a winner for old and young
  • Shakespeare- literature and theatre at it’s best
  • Straight Plays- for drama lovers and thrill seakers
  • Comedies- for a laugh and a good night out with friends
  • Murder Mysteries- for fundraising and awareness campaigns
  • Variety Shows- for old-fashioned fun with new ideas
  • Concerts- something for everyone, who doesn’t like a good song?
  • Children’s Theatre- a young person’s first experience of being in the audience

The list goes on, and the possibilities are endless. If you haven’t done one yet, why not have a go?

These are three really simple steps which can make a huge difference to the amount of fun and fulfilment had by your members and your ticket sales (which at the end of the day, is the bottom line!). Try them out, and let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

[bctt tweet=”Three really simple steps which can make a huge difference to the amount of fun and fulfilment had by your members and your ticket sales” username=”jnpantoscripts”]

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