theatre management; promotions; advertising; marketing plan
Honors Project Abstract
In my years as a theatre student and practitioner, I have learned that the most creative people aren’t necessarily found center stage. For every actor taking a bow, there are numerous support staff who created the production that will bring actors acclaim. Without an audience, the work of these artists will remain unseen and unappreciated. Therefore, those who promote the performances are certainly an integral part of the theatrical process. Often referred to as “show business”, the ticket sales and revenue are essential to the health and well being of any theatrical organization. URI Theatre, like any arts organization, puts a substantial amount of effort and countless hours into the promotion of all performances each year. There is an established promotions team whose objective is to give the students, guest artists, and faculty the recognition they deserve for their professional, interesting and creative work.
My honors project was twofold. First, I used this past year as a trial for the success of the promotions and second, I created a written plan and promotional package for students to use as a template in future advertising and promotions. Though it is difficult to assign success to the promotions due to the many variables that affect audience attendance figures, ultimately, if there are people sitting in your theatre, some form of promotions and publicity created an interest and desire for your product which is the outcome that all artists, onstage and off, seek.
College students are not habitual theatre goers, but through promotions specifically targeted to the student body, we can change that pattern of non-participation. Through the creation of a marketing plan and advertisements, I created a means of communication by which URI Theatre’s publicists and social media teams could reach the student body. Utilizing posters, online media that related to current social media trends, press information for local high schools, and panel discussions, I chose a specific target audience and looked to increase audience attendance within this specific subset. This theatre marketing plan details varying methodologies for creating online promotions. It lists helpful contacts to create connections for promotions, and it explains the purposes and projected benefits of the individual promotional events that occurred this past year. Through utilization of the promotional package I created for the URI Theatre department, new methodologies and plans may benefit the department for years to come. The attached poster details the methodologies used in creating the campaigns for the season, its implementation and its outcomes.