Posts tagged ‘Theatre’

August 8, 2013

Who are Your People?

images“From eight to eighty-eight!”

“Everyone should see this show. Its themes are universal.”

“Everyone will find something to love about this work.”

“Fun for the whole family!”

“This work is so important.  Community X has to come, it speaks to them.”

“Everyone” is not a target market. “Everyone” is not a demographic. Fun for the whole family rarely is. When I worked at TO TIX I once told a family of four that Mom, Dad and the younger sibling should go ahead to Medieval Times, and leave the 15-year-old in the hotel room to watch movies. It was a satisfactory compromise to all.

Cultural background does not translate to enjoyment of art, and  does not automatically lead to engagement with your company. (If it did I would live on a steady theatre diet of Tremblay and Shakespeare, with some Group of Seven thrown in for good measure.)

Who loves you for who you are and what you do? Who will come because of what you do, how you do it and that you’ve consistently done this for and with them X number of times?

Who do you work with who become your people, and therefore their people become yours as well?

Who believes in the work? Who believes in you? And where do those two beliefs cross over?

July 18, 2013

Why Folks are Liking Us and What We’re Using Social Media-wise

Too hot to read much today so we’ll head for an infographic or two. Replace “brand fan” with “art supporter” or “theatre company” and there you go. Are all these reasons true for your facebook page? Are you doing all these things to get more folks to your page and have them stay there?

brand fan

Let’s look at what we’re using to get folks’ attention: interesting that facebook likes for “your theatre company” are as prevalent as like for “insert global brand here”. Let’s keep it up. How are we using these tactics and tools to get real life interactions going?

Seriously – it’s HOT out. Stay cool, stay hydrated. See you soon.

Infographic-How-Do-Small-Businesses-Reach-Customers

June 20, 2013

From The Archives: My Thoughts on Starting a Theatre Company

This article was making the Facebook rounds yesterday:

Please, Don’t Start a Theatre Company

“Neither the field nor the next generation of artists is served by this unexamined multiplication of companies based on the same old model. The NEA’s statistics on nonprofit growth, set against its sobering reports on declining arts participation, illuminate a crucial nexus for the field, a location of both profound failure and potential transformation. The proliferation of small theater companies sits at the intersection between the necessity to imagine different structures for making theater and our field’s failure to provide career paths for the next generation of artists. Since the Ford Foundation’s investments kicked off the regional theater movement fifty years ago, there has been tremendous collective buy-in to what has become a fossilized model of a particular type of nonprofit theater. Within this structure, there is now a critical lack of opportunity for emerging artists and leaders, leaving the next generation of artists no alternative but to start companies of their own, companies that often replicate the problems of established theaters on a smaller scale. “

So it seems we know what’s wrong with the current model, but aren’t able to do anything but participate in the current (some would say broken) model because funding and expectations are geared towards the current model, namely  “a building with staff and a season, subscribers and youth programs, and a healthy mix of earned and contributed income.”


The cycle continues.

So what do we do? Go read part two of the article it’s got some interesting ideas.  I also think we have to change our picture of what success looks like – is being a venued theatre a badge of success if you can’t afford the building? Is a large subscriber base a badge of success if you’ve gone from producing edgy avant-garde work to “crowd pleasers” to keep the doors open on the unaffordable venue?

And are we a success as a community and industry if we, as some of the most creative people out there, cannot change because the current model is the only one we know?

At Clayton Lord”s presentation this week the question was raised, which is more important, economic or intrinsic impact? Why, intrinsic, of course.

Then why does only economic get a form to fill out in the grant application? Budget form, earned revenue form, subscribers vs single ticket, foundation vs government.  Economic gets a very important form in the grant application.

Where’s the form for intrinsic?

Then today a Quick Riff from Mission Paradox: “I find the whole “people should stop forming arts organizations” conversation to be interesting.  It’s interesting because people make a very logical case for not starting.  The issue is that starting an organization is an emotional issue.  It isn’t driven by logic.  By the way, this isn’t a good or bad thing . . . it is just reality.  My own point of view is that if it is in your heart to start an organization then you HAVE to do it.  The world may need it.
But if your heart isn’t in it.  If you aren’t committed.  Don’t even think about starting.”

Anyway….

 

March 22, 2013

Job Opps, Job Descriptions and Things on your Timeline

CAHOOTS THEATRE COMPANY is seeking applications for the position of ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Cahoots Theatre Company has been dedicated to the creation, development and production of new Canadian plays that reflect our cultural diversity for 26 years.  Cahoots Theatre Company believes that theatre should reflect the richness, diversity, and complexity that we live daily. Diversity means more than race or nation of origin or ethnicity. It also encompasses gender, sexual orientation, ability, language, and class.  Cahoots is a registered charity.
Please see http://www.cahoots.ca/company/job-opportunities/

Cahoots did a good job on their job description – on that note I found this article at bizlaunch the other day.

Finally for today (it’s Friday of a long week) a question that came up in Monday night’s class was on how to keep certain stories from specific people off your Facebook timeline – whether it’s items you’re sensitive to or you’re simply tired of cat pictures. It’s a combination of things – Facebook is something you can do your best to tailor to your individual needs. I still like the explanation I heard a while back – people can put whatever they want on their walls, and you can put whatever you want on your wall, and that news feed is just that – an aggregate of everyone’s whatever they want. If you don’t want to see certain stories there are things you can do, from hiding that person, to hiding certain stories, to changing the status of your friendship with that person. But it requires you to do something. Found this on my newsfeed.  Same folks who created the un-baby me app for folks who were tired of seeing so many pictures of their friends’ toddlers and tots.

Lisa and I were talking last night on the way home from The Whipping Man – it’s brilliant, by the way and you should go and see it –  about the fact that we’ve been part of five shows that have opened since February 7. An opening on February 7, February 14, March 1, March 14, March 21. We have been BUSY, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done. And today marks the first read through for another production.  Add that in with three teaching/guest speaker events this week, plus new client consults and RFPs and I’d say business is going well and I thank friends and colleagues and past and present clients.

Things I want to talk about next week include the power of hearing something on stage, not seeing it.

I also got to thinking about our city. I spent two days guest speaking at a school that is in the far reaches of East Toronto – a GO stop away from Pickering, and The Whipping Man is at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in North York. Two places that are remarkably different from where I live in Parkdale.

Happy Friday!

March 14, 2013

March 27 is World Theatre Day

Wednesday, March 27. 2013 is WORLD THEATRE DAY

I am giving you a week’s notice so you can plan to do something other than smile weakly at someone around three pm and mutter, “uh – happy theatre day?” Read on.

As far as I can remember, everything I have ever learned, and that has mattered to me, I have learned through storytelling. And I have learned much by being told and telling stories through theatre…

D’aussi loin que je me souvienne, tout ce que j’ai appris et qui a de l’importance à mes yeux, je l’ai appris par la voie des contes. J’ai appris énormément par les histoires qu’on m’a racontées et celles que j’ai racontées au théâtre.

March 11, 2013… The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) and  l’Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC) have once again joined forces to promote World Theatre Day from  a distinctly Canadian  perspective.

Says Micheline Chevrier, Associate Director of Imago Theatre“I am very honoured to have been asked by PACT, PGC and ATFC to write the message on the occasion of World Theatre Day. In doing so, I have had to reflect on the importance of telling stories, taking risks and broadening one’s understanding of the world. It has been a great gift. I look forward to reading other messages and taking inspiration and strength from those thoughts into my work.”

Created in 1961 by UNESCO, World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on March 27 by theatre communities around the globe. The impetus behind World Theatre Day is to honour and further UNESCO’s International Theatre Institute’s goals to:

  • Celebrate the power of theatre as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace.
  • Promote and protect cultural diversity and identity in communities throughout the world. Each year, a renowned theatre artist of world stature is invited to craft an International Message to mark the global occasion. This year we are proud to add a distinctly Canadian voice to these messages – click here for the full text of Ms. Chevrier’s message, and watch the french version video release embedded below.

How can you or your company be a part of the celebrations? Visit the PACT website for a list of easy ways to start a conversation, make an offer to audiences, or ways to let others know you’re celebrating the importance of theatre in Canada. You can also visit the PGC website and take part in the one tweet play challenge.


For more World Theatre Day info and activities around the world, visit:

http://www.tcg.org/international/events/wtd.cfm
http://nycwtd.com/home.html
www.iti-worldwide.org/

WORLD THEATRE DAY
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Locally, Nationally, Internationally, Live and On-line

 

December 13, 2012

Client Shout out

Usually at the end of the year I do a touch up to my projects list, so thought since I was here, I’d update you as well. These are fantastic companies I’m working with – be prepared to hear more about them

We’ve just closed the books on our wildly successful production of Proud, and we’re continuing to work together on something.

Expect Theatre Company (we worked together for Fringe 2010) is in the 2012 Next Stage Festival with their production of Awake and I’m working with them again in marketing.

Still happily working with OCAF on social media and PR – and they’ve got an anniversary coming up in 2013!

Small Print Toronto and I are working on a communications strategy to let the world know about the amazing events they put together for small people, including my favourite, Totsapalooza.

Just signed on with Harold Green Jewish Theatre/Obsidian Theatre to do PR and communications for their upcoming production of The Whipping Man, which is an incredible script.

Working with the fine folks over at The Quickening Theatre on their spring show The DeChardin Project, and looking forward to it.

Tidying up last loose ends with Young Associates from social media strategy to a webinar Heather and I did together for ACCA

Fall production of Math Out Loud out of Vancouver!

I’ll know about two more (exciting!) by the end of the day.

Quick volunteer update – Friends of the Arts, Toronto Fringe Festival, and we had out first meeting for Artsvote 2014 yesterday. Be prepared.

I love my clients. I love working with them, and I really love the art they create. Pleasure to be working with them.

 

September 12, 2012

Hiding Words – ticket deal!

It’s my birthday today! This past year has quite possibly been one of the best years of my life. With that in mind, I am sharing the love and passing on a cool ticket deal for Gein Wong’s play HIDING WORDS (for you).

Hiding Words (for you)  delves into nushu, a secret language created in 400 A.D. when Chinese women were not allowed to read or write. Set in China during its biggest 19th Century rebellion, a modern Canada where national security is at a heightened state, and a hip urban Hong Kong on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. This interdisciplinary play examines the relationship between women connected through space and time, following their pursuits to influence social change.

Gein Wong has done some amazing work, theatrically inventive, passionate, fearless, organically blending traditional Chinese motifs with video installation, hip hop, modern dance.

Esther Jun directs, and the cast includes the powerful John Ng, Stephanie Jung, Paul Lee and others. It’s running at Harbourfront from September 13 to the  23, 2012.

Book your tickets online, or you can book by email at websales@harbourfrontcentre.com or by phone at 416-973-4000. You can quote the promo code  NUSHU for $21 tickets.  I’ll be going.

September 6, 2012

14th in Innovation – Mom isn’t putting that grade on the fridge

From the Globe and Mail: Canada must refuel for cultural creativity

Sixty years ago, the Massey report created our first cultural “road map” by boldly recommending the establishment of a Canada Council to support our creative and interpretive artists.

Its recommendations also strongly encouraged a National Library and the growth of our core national cultural institutions: CBC-Radio Canada, the National Film Board, our archives and museums and scientific research. It affirmed the importance of culture to Canadian society and linked the development of a distinctive Canadian culture to our sovereignty and survival.

These recommendations produced remarkably positive results. However, culture has since been relegated to “niche” status under successive governments, and the cultural sector as a whole has been relegated to the periphery of policy-making.

So that was sixty years ago. Now from the Guardian: Why major theatre institutions should be left to die

The artists of tomorrow are not made through funding an elite, but by funding at the bottom of the pyramid – a pyramid that we have created and sustained during the good times but now seldom question, even though the landscape will look very different in the coming years.

We should stop building bricks and mortar and empires, and rid ourselves of the belief that growth is a good thing for the arts. We should put money into the bottom of the pyramid, not the top – it is only by funding the bottom that we can create the future.

Lots to think about.

In other news, our Mayor is in court proving spectacularly that stupidity isn’t illegal. Steve Kupferman from torontoist did some great live updating yesterday.

June 1, 2012

Rainy Day Post

It’s finally raining! My garden will be pleased.

The other night I was trying to figure out how to make an excel column “sticky” so it wouldn’t move when I scrolled down the page. I asked my Facebook friends – it’s called “freeze panes” and it’s under View in Microsoft Excel 2010.
I’m not really a fan of the new Microsoft layout. I can’t seem to – FIND – things.

While I was looking for freeze panes info (and how to convert table to text) I also found this article which I thought was funny and true – for everyone admin-ing in the rain today – 10 Things I can never find in Word 2007.

In social media news, an article from a colleague – Facebook Finally Lets Page Admins Schedule Posts, Have Different Roles. I tried it – it works. There’s a little set up involved (but when isn’t there in life?) but it does work.

This is NOT to say you’re going to schedule all your posts and then just LEAVE. You’re not going to do that because what if a post gets a response that requires a response? What if the post  – doesn’t? What if the post screws up? Remember Director Fury’s Advice – be the person behind the tech, not just the tech.

Finally – I’ve mentioned I’m working with Sheep No Wool Theatre Company – they’re putting on the Edward Bond Festival in less than two weeks. Great interview here from The Way I See It theatre blog – have a read!

Happy Friday – oh – if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, catch Stockholm at the Tarragon Extra Space before it closes. Some really nice stuff on that stage.

March 27, 2012

It’s World Theatre Day

I wish we did more to celebrate it in Toronto, outside of our industry, other than seemingly posting it on Facebook and awkwardly saying it to each other.

I wish it  were valued enough that it was a stat holiday, like Family Day and you could spend the day seeing theatre with your loved ones, free theatre, theatre at a discount, specially planned event, that everyone would be talking about what they did for World Theatre Day at the water coolers tomorrow and the morning talk/news shows would be asking people to tweet in what they did for World Theatre Day to win prize packages with the hashtag #WTD.

We’ll keep working on it. Meantime,  here’s a great presentation about the message from John Malkovich for the 50th Anniversary of ITI.  Definitely worth a watch.

Happy World Theatre Day.

 

 

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