We are getting ever closer to the performance of “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. I’ve been promoting the play everywhere. Marketing has to be done on all platforms so thousands of flyers have gone out to schools, colleges and many other organisations or given to shops and outlets alongside posters.
Every event I go to I give out flyers as do other members of the team. With eighteen in the cast and a production team that’s a wide network. Publicity photos and a video have been posted on numerous FB forums, as well as on Twitter and Instagram. We have been on the radio three times and we shall be in the paper this week. We also send regular mail shots.
Everyone know it’s hard to convert mild interest into an actual purchase of a ticket. We have to keep reminding people and teasing them with the show. However, there is a balance to be found in how much we communicate. We can’t afford to let people forget, but we also mustn’t send information so frequently that people get annoyed and irritated. We tend to post on FB and Twitter every other day and always with something new to say - a new photograph, a new quote from the play, a new observation. Mail shots were also every other day, but we have decided that is perhaps too frequent so now we send once a week.
We tend to find that people really take notice when they have heard about it from more than one source. So if they see a flyer or poster and then see it on social media or hear about it on the radio that may well embed. It also seems to be the way in MK that people don’t book until the week before. We have had situations where we tell people a particular night or nights may sell out and people still leave it to the last minute. We’ve found that to be the case particularly in the last few years. It’s hard for people we know when they have so many other things they have to find money for. A theatre ticket can seem like quite an expense, so we do try to keep costs at a reasonable level. However, the cost of putting on a show is expensive – there’s royalties, rehearsal space, theatre fees even with a box office split, insurance, transport, set, costumes, lighting, sound, music for some shows, website, flyers, posters and much more. Box office is just one income stream, but it is a very important one. It’s also not just an income stream. Actors want to be seen. They love playing to a large audience. Other income streams are sponsorship and grants. There’s also crowd funding.
We are lucky with this show that the MK Community Foundation has supported us and we have thus been able to give some tickets to disadvantaged students. We’ve also arranged for a coach to pick them up and take them back. We want to make the arts accessible to all and this is one way we can help. We are so grateful to the MK Community Foundation for this. We also want to thank Chris Bridgman of Bridgman and Bridgman, landscape gardeners based in Wolverton. Chris has always been a keen supporter of the arts and community projects.
In another blog I’ll write more about how projects can be financed. It’s a subject which anyone who has tried to produce something is interested in. It’s becoming harder, but it’s not impossible, but it does take a lot of work, thought and the building up of contacts. Working in partnerships is also important, but again it has to be the right partnership!
So do come and support “Our Town”. It’s a beautiful play, beautiful in its simplicity. Its themes are universal and uplifting. It will improve your life.
Tickets are on sale now £15 and £13 (concessions).
1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th November 7.30pm with a matinee on 4th November 2.30pm.
or call the Box Office: 01908 324466.
Don’t miss it!
Director and Producer