One of the hardest parts of putting on a theatre performance is knowing how to actually get people interested in watching the fruits of your labour. What may have seemed straightforward at first becomes vastly more challenging when you realise that you have to spend hours of rehearsal time on marketing and advertising, but the good news is that there are a lot of ways to make things easier for yourselves.
Create interesting leaflets and a brochure.
When trying to envision your leaflets and brochure, take in to account exactly what it is that people will want to know. While your ultimate goal is to increase interest and awareness, it’s good to be aware that if you don’t provide sufficient information like a short blurb about the play and opening dates, very few people will find your leaflet of any use whatsoever.
A good way to know exactly what people want is to spend a day asking your friends and family what it is that they need to know and the things that would interest them the most about your performance. Doing this research will give you a solid idea of exactly what you should put in each space of the valuable real estate on the leaflet.
Take part in the theatre community.
Although leaflets are an amazingly simple way to help people find information about you, it really doesn’t get much easier than talking to members of the community and staying well connected. By making connections with other theatre goers and performers, you have the opportunity to increase your performance’s standings within the primary group of people who would have already been looking for something to see.
This goes from speaking to people in the lobby of other plays to having a Twitter account and being active on online theatre forums. Your creativity is one of your strongest assets here, so remember that you need to stand out in these interactions, as the average person will speak to multiple people with upcoming plays and you will want to be their first choice out of all of these.
Put on an amazing show.
Although spreading the word on your own may alert some people who may have been interested beforehand, the very best way to get more people in the seats for next time is to put on an unforgettable show that will leave people telling their friends, family and neighbours that they absolutely need to check out the next showing. This can also lead to favourable reviews in the media, meaning larger coverage will be afforded to later bookings of other performances.
Also, if you’ve been involved in the community, your word will hold more weight when you mention upcoming shows, making your job easier as time goes on.
Overall, the most useful things to do are just: making sure that you have done your research on who would enjoy your play the most, speaking to people interested in similar ideas, creating some form of media to transmit this information, and putting on the very best show that you and your crew are capable of.