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The Power of Community Theatre: Why the Show's Story is Key to Marketing

Monday, 8 May 2023
Coast Box Office

Photo: Lake Plains Players

As a lover of theatre, I've seen many productions over the years, from Broadway blockbusters to small community theatre shows. While each production is unique, one thing that often sets community theatre apart is the reliance on promoting the cast in marketing efforts. While this may seem like a good strategy, it can actually be detrimental to the success of a show.

Community theatre is an integral part of the theatre ecosystem.
It provides an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in and enjoy the magic of live theatre. For many, community theatre is their first introduction to the stage, both as audience members and performers. It allows for the creation of unique and diverse productions that may not be seen in larger theatres. It also creates a sense of community and belonging for those involved.

However, when it comes to marketing these productions, many community theatres make the mistake of relying solely on promoting the cast.
While it's important to highlight the talented individuals involved in a production, it's not always the most effective marketing strategy.

One of the main reasons for this is that many potential audience members may not know the cast or their level of experience.
While some well-known cast members may draw in a certain audience, relying solely on them can alienate those who are unfamiliar with them. Instead, the focus should be on the show's story and the more general reasons why someone should come to see it.

A show's story is what draws in an audience, not necessarily the actors involved.
A great story can capture the imagination of potential audience members and create a sense of anticipation for what's to come. It can also allow for the creation of a marketing message that reaches a wider audience. A show's story can be universal, appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds.

The promise of quality entertainment is also an important factor in marketing a production.
While having a well-known cast member may attract a certain audience, the promise of a great production overall is what will keep them coming back for more. The focus should be on the overall experience of the show, not just the cast involved.

That's not to say that promoting some well-known cast members isn't beneficial.
It can be a great addition to a marketing strategy, but it should not replace the greater messaging of the show's story and promise of quality entertainment. The goal of marketing a production should be to create a sense of excitement and anticipation for what's to come. By focusing on the show's story and the overall experience, community theatres can create a marketing message that appeals to a wider audience and helps to ensure the success of their productions.

Community theatre is an important and vibrant part of the theatre world.
While promoting the cast can be beneficial, it's not always the most effective marketing strategy. Instead, community theatres should focus on the show's story and the overall experience to create a marketing message that appeals to a wider audience. By doing so, they can help to ensure the success of their productions and continue to bring the magic of live theatre to their communities.

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