Today’s post will be hosted from Toronto


During a visit to China this past Summer I managed to fill a bunch of otherwise-blank space here on TNS through the generosity of a bunch of very smart and agreeable guest bloggers. Among their number was Ian Mackenzie, the in-house marketer for Toronto’s Praxis Theatre, and long-time author of the Canadian super-blog; Theatre is Territory. Response to Ian’s post was instant and lively, and generated some of the best comment conversation The Next Stage has ever seen. If you haven’t read it and you’re involved in independent theatre in any way, please do so post-haste, it’s simply mandatory reading.

After the piece ran, Ian asked me to return the favour, you can read the results of that little request over on the Praxis site today.

I love this idea of guest posting, I think it might make us converse outside of our normal at-home comfort zones, and open up new ideas to a different audience. And it’s kind of like inviting company over for good conversation. A little more formal, and a little more challenging.

If anyone out there in the theatre blog galaxy, either blogger or reader, feels that they would like to have a chat with the audience of The Next Stage, please drop me a line either in the comments below or directly to me at vanstage(at)gmail(dot)com. We’d love to have you over.


  1. Very nice post Simon. It’s so, so true. I think that there’s this notion that because we love theatre, our audiences should love it as much and they’ll just ‘gravitate’ to the shows. There’s plenty of evidence that this is sooooo not the case.

    We’re a microscopic niche publishing house, which we always knew and are quite fine with – but we’ve been recently realizing just how much smaller we are than we thought, and how much of the marketplace we haven’t tapped and it pretty much comes down to mis-placed marketing.

    This past month we’ve started a year long project dedicated to our marketing (with a more specific goal of converting first time visitors to our website)

    It’s exciting, it’s overwhelming, it’s clear we haven’t been doing things properly and we’re dedicated to changing learning. It’s sort of like going back to school.

    We’ll never be big enough for a full time marketing position (I know, never say never) but we’re figuring out how important and necessary it is, if we want to make a living as artists.

    Thanks for the post. It’s important to get these ideas in people’s brains.

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