Archive for ‘theatre marketing’

November 20, 2014

Adventures on Dovercourt

CaptureAdam and I were scheduled to do a social media chat with the cast of Kaeja d’Dance last night, we were told if we went early we could watch some rehearsal in progress.

I am so glad we did. Two pieces being created, one by Allen and one by Karen, and both incredibly beautiful each in their own way. Allen’s .0 (point zero) and Karen’s yet untitled are going to be truly stunning when fully realized. I got tons of pics and some video and once approved I will show you. And you can check out the Harbourfront website for more details.

The chat went well, lots of good questions, lots of good knowledge and a real sense of sharing in the room. I think our social media campaigns for the Kaeja season are going to be full of great stuff and I am looking forward to what we can unfold.

On the subject of Kaejas and Dovercourt, Wind Down Dance is Friday night and you should probably check it out.

Excellent end of our day and  start to our evening. Rush hour + blowy first snowfall = no cabs, so we ventured toward Bloor. I’m still on a cane so the weather and that issue had us slowly making our way down the street – about halfway to Bloor I stopped and said, “First bar we see we’re going in. We need a sign.” and I looked up and there was a sign that said “bar”.

Oh we picked right.

CNL & Yauca’s Lounge.   Go visit. If it’s Wednesday and wing special night, get them. They were the best wings I’ve ever had. They also have a rental space downstairs for meetings, conferences rehearsals and the like.

I am off to get organized for a webinar I am doing today with Orchestras Canada, and work on lesson plans  for 2015. And tonight is opening night for CartHorse Theatre’s Fishskin Trousers.

November 26, 2013

Fringe Lottery Results, a place to make art, a different way to look at art

Fringe lottery party last night at the Tranzac and a rockin’ time was had by all – definitely yelling,  cheering, singing, cake and of course – the LOTTERY WINNERS! Results will be posted on the Fringe website by noon the 26th (that’s today! Maybe it’s right now!) Congrats to all. Up next – Next Stage of course – expect to hear more about this!

I always like hearing about more space for art, and here you go – from the newest member of the Artscape family.
Flex Studios is a new membership-based service that offers artists pay-as-you-go access to creative workspace at Artscape Youngplace. Members can book space quickly and easily online-24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Flex Studios opens for member use on November 30 after the official opening of Artscape Youngplace on November 19. Be there when the bell rings!

CaptureI think this is kind of cool – not in a “match the sofa” way, but another way of searching art.
The Addictive New Museum Website That Lets You Browse by Color
The part I thought was especially neat was the project this project was based on – the site of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in that at first glimpse each item appears in close-up rather than in its entirety, an approach that encourages people to start with details to discover works of art and design, rather than zooming in after the fact.

Mostly I like the fact that you start out nose-close. That’s frowned upon in museums. Believe me. Speaking of museums, the winter class schedule is out for the AGO!

 

October 22, 2013

2013 Siminovitch Prize

photo by Dahlia Katz

photo by Dahlia Katz

Toronto Director Chris Abraham named recipient of 2013 Siminovitch Prize, chooses Mitchell Cushman as Protégé
Monday October 21, 2013, Toronto
Before a packed Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto, Chris Abraham, Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre was named recipient of the 2013 Siminovitch Prize. For his protégé he has selected Mitchell Cushman, Artistic Director of Outside the March and Associate Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre.
Click recipient of 2013 
for full release.

It was a great night.

June 21, 2013

Web 2.0, User Reviews & Ticket Sales

(As some of you may have noticed, Sue’s away this week! Thus this post was written by her Communications Coordinator, Lisa, who is writing in the third person right now… Enjoy!)

Low ticket sales and small houses? Can’t get reviewers out to your show? The solution may be in Web 2.0. …

Web 2.0., as defined by O’Reilly Media in 2004, refers to the current movement in web development and design that aims to facilitate communications, information sharing and collaboration. Today’s online culture is all about the sharing of knowledge: testimonials and reviews make up a large part of this information sharing. Online users have come to trust and make use of these reviews when they shop:

Nielsen BuzzMetrics

Nielsen BuzzMetrics

What does this mean for ticket sales?

In a 2008 survey done by Kudzu.com, 86% of consumers said they read online business reviews before making purchasing decisions; 90% of whom say they trust these reviews.

Word of mouth is king in the buyer game, so it doesn’t really matter how many advertisements you take out in Now Magazine; the majority of consumers are looking to their peers for recommendations. As David Carlick says “Your brand isn’t your product, it’s what people say about your product”. Web 2.0 is helping to extend the reach of individual reviews and recommendations, making use of forums, reviewing sites and comment sections to gauge public opinion and help consumers make informed decisions.

We know word of mouth sells show tickets, so can we utilize Web 2.0’s penchant towards information sharing and user reviews in the theatre world? We are not, after all, trying to sell a flat screen TV or minivan; opinions on our products are far more subjective. Social Media is a good place to start: Twitter, Facebook & Google+ can be utilized to generate discussion about shows. Unfortunately, as those conversations, and the accounts that host them, are often controlled by the theatre companies themselves, they are not impartial and considered less reliable for users.

What about a dedicated site for unbiased, multi-user reviews? Most online newspapers and blogs, such as Now, The Grid & Blog T.O., have a comment section where show-goers can share their opinions, but these are underutilized and text heavy. Reviewing sites like Yelp, Amazon, FourSquare, and Epinions, provide rating systems and criteria for business and products which make for easy aggregation. While perhaps too simplistic or restricting for the arts, a rating system would make shared reviews easy to assess.

We need an accessible, unbiased, online space in which to provide theatre reviews. Individual reviewers are unable to take in all that a city of this size has to offer. A collection of multiple reviews would provide would-be-ticket-buyers a space in which to make informed decisions about the shows available to them. There is, of course, the chance that sites like these can be trolled or stacked by people hoping to destroy or hype shows, but the use of site-specific profiles or linked social networks could help avoid these problems.

After searching Google to see if I could find such a site, I came across Toronto Theatre‘s user review section. It allows users to review the shows they’ve seen using a five star system with space for commentary. Have you used this site before? Have you heard of other theatre-reviewing sites? Would you direct your audiences to them?

Or have you thought of other ways to utilize the ‘user review’ Web 2.0 phenomenon? How can we increase ‘word of mouth’ on the web? Let’s share what we know and get people talking!

May 19, 2013

Sunday Roundup – May 19

What a – week. SO much going on in the theatre world with One Little Goat continuing to get amazing reviews for The Charge of the Expormidable Moose, The Dumbwaiter opening at Odyssey Studio, Sister Mary’s a Dyke gearing up to preview on the 25th of May, and Atrium Theatre bringing us Midlife Crisis, inspired by M.Frisch’s novel Gantenbein for three nights at the top of June.

No post tomorrow – it’s a holiday.  But I think Tuesday will bring the second post in what I feel like could be a sad, sad series entitled “Dear Rob.

A Play Reading and The Harold Awards!

What You’ve Got is What I Need

Infographics and an Article or Two. Maybe three.

To add to our content today, our intrepid Communications Coordinator Lisa has created the post below from a discussion we had on the Queen car westbound. I like the look of all these folks – they’ve been a pleasure to work with, and we’ll work together again.

When I arrived at 288 Queen Street for the Sister Mary production meeting, I didn’t expect to know anyone but Sue in the room. I left realizing just how small the Toronto theatre scene is. Here is a quick visual for some (this is in no way complete) of the connections we’ve had between shows at Sue Edworthy Arts Planning.

 It seems that every time I meet a new person in the theatre world I soon find that I know of their work, or have worked with someone they’ve worked with, or am friends with their friends. People often complain about this becoming claustrophobic or ‘incestuous’, but the reality is: people who do good work continue to work together.

 Reputations and relationships matter, and even in a city of 2.615 million people, amid competition and the feeling of anonymity, communities arise. Like-minded people come together to create. Talent is rewarded and shared and I think it’s important to keep this in mind… both as a warning and as a celebration.

Screen shot 2013-05-17 at 12.05.54 PM

April 12, 2013

Rainy Friday

imagesWow. Pouring – it’s been all the weather out there these past couple of days. It’s a read and think kind of day. Although I must mention first off I had the pleasure of speaking to a class at Quest Alternative School this week on career options – for some reason I assumed they were in grade nine or ten – instead they were in grades seven and eight and bright and funny and smart. Joy to talk with them I have now added  Zayn Malik to my overall knowledge of One Direction, as well as Perrie Edwards, the purple haired girl from the girl version of OD he’s apparently marrying/not marrying.
Client Updates! I’m pleased to report that I’m working with two new clients Atrium Theatre for a conceptual piece based on Max Freisch‘s Mein Name sei Gantenbein, also known as A Wilderness of Mirrors. We laughed as we realized that it was a Swiss play, performed by Russian actors, with a Canadian company, in a Canadian venue, namely the Cameron House. If people ask, “what are Canadian stories?” I’d say this is one of them. Details coming, it’s in June.

Secondly I’m working with Wordsmyth Theatre on their production of The Dumbwaiter, which is a play I’m quite familiar with. That’s in late May and June.

Rehearsals began last week for The Charge of The Expormidable Moose – I was at first read through and there are some amazing actors in that piece – looking forward to it. That’s in May as well. And don’t forget Sister Mary’s a Dyke with Cahoots, who are a delight to work with as well. And of course there’s always the Fringe, with Wiggly Dolly’s production of There’s Always You.

Busy. Not insanely cult of busy for the sake of it busy, but I am liking what my clients are doing these days, they are running the full gamut of theatre.

I saw this earlier in the week and I think it’s lovely, it makes me think of the murmur project. New York City Phone Booths to be Converted to Time Machines

And over at the Creative Trust blog/website, Jini has written a great article on data and its power to tell stories. And because I always like going waaay back to find the origin of things (see 99 Twethese) I love this article as well: A Brief History of Applause.  clapping was formalized — in Western culture, at least — in the theater. “Plaudits” (the word comes from the Latin “to strike,” and also “to explode”) were the common way of ending a play. At the close of the performance, the chief actor would yell, “Valete et plaudite!” (“Goodbye and applause!”) — thus signaling to the audience, in the subtle manner preferred by centuries of thespians, that it was time to give praise. And thus turning himself into, ostensibly, one of the world’s first human applause signs.”

Stay dry. It’s almost the weekend.

 

February 8, 2013

Snow Day!!!

snowstormQuick post today as who knows how many of you are trapped somewhere in the snow.

Was at Theatre Passe Muraille last night for the opening of Shakespeare’s Nigga. I like a show where I walk in and the first thing I say is, “Oh my God, look at the set!!” Trevor Schwellnus has done it again.

Bit of background on this work – it was originally meant to be produced the same year I was working at Passe Muraille and, as happens sometimes, it didn’t happen. Sad, as I was really looking forward to it. So essentially I’ve been waiting for –  six? seven? years to see it. Joe is a great writer, I still use the example of his Born Ready as a play that touched the audience at the time and still gives me chills.

Loved this piece. Loved it. Utterly satisfying work. Brilliant stuff happening on that stage. Congrats to Obsidian Theatre and Passe Muraille and all involved. You need to go see it. Get a ticket.

Also, this is kind of cool: Call for Submissions: Seeking Independent Theatre Companies to Partner and Produce Season

918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media & Education (www.918bathurst.com) and Apuka Theatre (www.apukatheatre.com) are accepting proposals from Toronto-based independent theatre companies to help form a new ‘loose association’ of companies based out of 918 Bathurst that will facilitate the development and production of works and enliven the Centre. Read more…

A reminder that I’m teaching in March/April : Arts and Entertainment Administration CDAM 101 at the Chang School!  If you work in the cultural sector as an individual or as a group, Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education can help you develop entrepreneurial skills to support your creative work through a new three-course series in Arts and Entertainment Administration. The course series will provide learners with a blend of practical and theoretical instruction in a format that arts managers, potential arts managers, and individual artists will find suitable for their experience. A key aspect of instruction will be to address issues for both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

Okay get out there – or stay in, whichever and have a good Friday!

 

September 21, 2012

Linky Friday

 

What a week. You might have noticed I’m working on a few things.

Opening shows…you printed and distributed the postcards and posters, and got the pre-press, and booked the ads, and created the Facebook page and you can’t seem to talk to anyone without mentioning the show you’re working on and offering dates and details and here, just take a flyer. You’ve created the buzz.

Is anyone coming? All you can do is hope so. Well, I mean you could rent a bus and drive round the city and tell people to get in, you’re taking them to a play, but you probably don’t have an F class license and –  really? Calm down.

A few links this week I’d been saving for a rainy day – today seems appropriate.

Why are you in business? The first question brands should answer
According to Mr. Sinek, by focusing on the “what” and “how,” companies miss an important opportunity to connect with customers by explaining the “why” behind the brand. When you address the why, you get to the true essence of a company and have an excellent platform for customers to relate to it.

I Want To Put You In  Category – thought this was was interesting, given the work I do.

Collaboration in kind: arts and business partnerships beyond the cheque
Despite the financial element to transactions such as these, the real strength of this approach lies in exchanges that are not based purely on money. While Robertson admits that straightforward philanthropy plays a sizable part in the funding of most arts organisations, including his own, he firmly believes that “the healthiest relationships are often based on something a bit deeper than that”

Wonderful. Happy Friday  – second preview for Proud, second show for HOMEbody. I’m outta here.

August 19, 2012

Sunday Roundup – August 19

 

Fall is coming, there’s a briskness in the air overnight, you need to take a sweater in the evening, and the Ex is in town. You can feel folks sliding slowly out of the long lazy days and into back-to-school mode.

 

Last week?

A Post, a Clarification, An Addition

and

When Did Marketing Become Important?

I’ve been hearing from folks that social media is supposed to be spontaneous! and funny! and casual! Fine. It can read that way, but it’s not that way behind the scenes. For some, social media is the only marketing you get to do – they don’t have your brochures, didn’t read the paper you advertised in, and haven’t seen your posters or postcards. Treat social media with the same kind of planning you do every other kind of marketing.

Some Sunday reading: Creating an Editorial Calendar for Social Media.

Couple of new books on my coffee table that I’ve absolutely loved: The Art of Racing in The Rain and Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers. I’m on the Paper Cow chapter right now. Happy Sunday!

June 6, 2012

The Doras, Show Trailers, Facebook Pages and the Library

Complete list of Dora Mavor Moore nominations here! It’s been a solid year of theatre – congratulations to all!

This is awesome.

Get your show trailer on Praxis.

Also awesome (from Mashable) – Facebook Finally Lets Page Admins Schedule Posts, Have Different Roles.
Now don’t get carried away with the scheduling and the walking away – it is not a Showtime Rotisserie where you’re gonna set it and forget it. Facebook pages require interaction, back and forth, question and answer, call and response – it’s a dialogue, right? I’m all for scheduling some posts, but not all of them. I did try it out last week, it did post on the correct date, but not at the right time. Which I knew because I was paying attention. Off you go – give it a shot with a completely unimportant update nad start playing around from there.

Have something on hold at the library? Do not forget to pick it up or they’ll charge you a dollar, it’s a new thing – the unpicked up hold fine.  The library has a whole slew of new ways to manage your holds and get them on time, though.
Can’t believe they’re charging you a dollar? I can. It’s another one of those crazy things I love about the library – the hold system.

“I want to read this book. But it’s at a library all the way across town.”

“Oh. Which one? Let us know and we’ll send someone to pick it up and bring it somewhere closer to you so you can read it. And we’ll email or call you to let you know it’s here. “

“But wait – how much will it cost me to do that?”

“Oh, it’s free. But you have to pick it up on time.”

Considering the base rate for any package delivered by cab in this city is ten bucks…

Happy Wednesday!

%d bloggers like this: