Fixing theatre, one tweet at a time

Random tweet from Rebecca on Tuesday morning:

Off to have breakfast with @cynnamons. Vancouver theatre publicists unite!

To which I responded with a flippant:

@rebeccacoleman @cynnamons Hi girls! If you figure out how to fix #theatre today, let me know?

To which Travis responded with a considered:

@thenextstagemag Give a leading indie company in each city a budget half as large as the largest company for three years.

And then is was game on, in < 140 characters.

thenextstagemag: Who’s got some ideas on how to #fixtheatre?


hummingbird604: Create targeted socmed campaign to influence funding organizations 4 theatre

thenextstagemag: Convince each large civic theatre to foster one indie company on a side stage per year, as many productions as they can fit

autoblot: Develop resources to help small companies learn how to reach beyond the ‘family and friends’ audience.

walt828: teach artists entrepreneurial skills. REAL entrepreneurial skills

thenextstagemag: Take one non-theatre friend to a play/month, and stick around afterward to meet the cast

brovermania: Small, affordable venues, cheap tickets, short plays, beer.

performaddict: Integrate video games with theatre and open the shows explicitly to gamers.

IanAMartin: What about free booze during performances? Or even ‘drinking in the seats’ being ok?

miketobias: @DallasTheater: Michael Kaiser says arts orgs need federal policy, not just fed funding:

theatre_20: foster a new generation of theatre-goer’s by creating theatre that is about them rather than their ancestors

happierman: make it affordable. make it often. make it interactive.

nyneofuturists: be willing to change start times, audience/stage layout, and allow beer

foyee: compromise less. Don’t give up on an idea because someone tells you it can’t be done.

halcyontony: don’t be scared to try something new?

foyee: Longer rehearsal/workshop time. Venue rent subsidies.

performaddict: Figure out how to make it cheaper. I’m all for a living wage, but most theatre is prohibitively expensive

foyee: Be inclusive, not exclusive and stop being pretentious about our art.

lacouvee: non traditional venues, non traditional times, make it relevant, exciting & dangerous also affordable

lacouvee: Talk about everybody who works in theatre, not just the actors & directors

lacouvee: reach out to minorities, help theatre to reflect our diverse cultural mosaic

thenextstagemag: Get loud and blog.

getrealtheatre: Getting them young means teaching drama, stagecraft in schools – this fosters a lifelong love of the art

DaveCharest: Set a regular schedule of emailing subscribers. Show them WHY they should be excited about theatre.

theatre_20: training institutions that make learning the “biz” side of “show biz” as important as the art.

DaveCharest: Enable fans to spread the word.

judithsthoughts: ticket prices are a huge deal, but i also think theatre has to stop being so commercialized.

judithsthoughts: i miss the days when bdwy was full of special shows, and not disney movies made into shows.

christinequinty: recognize that the relationship between large theatre and independent theatre can be one of mutualism, not competition

DaveCharest: Use a combination of text and HTML emails. Start building connections with the audience.

judithsthoughts: when teaching its important to get everyone involved – that way kids that arent “actors’ or “singers” feel included.

DaveCharest: Make it easy for people to get involved

FacesofWayne: build a community, put a quality product on the stage, promote the high quality product within and outside the community.

christinequinty: break down the perception that theatre is, as was described to me by a prof in an academic class at UBC, a ‘bourgeois art form’

travisbedard: Stop whining about what everyone else isn’t doing. It’s not a problem – you just found your niche.

gladyssantiago: Utilize Twitter & other social media platforms for ticket giveaways. Generates buzz, great WOM

DaveCharest: Why should audiences get it? Start educating.

thenextstagemag: Separate indie theatre from classical theatre in the public’s perception. Re-brand as sexy and relevant.

rebeccacoleman: I would love a vibrant online arts hub with photos/video/blog where everyone can promote their stuff.

FilmguyWon: Theatre will never thrive unless you raise a generation of Writers of plays. Otherwise it’s just the same old stuff.

macwrites: Playwrights: write plays that you yourself would honestly set aside an evening to go out & see (even if no friends are in it).

VanMusicals: Incorporate non-traditional (colour-blind) casting whenever possible

TheatreSmart: Have talk-backs after every show!

KurtDaw: If you want to #fixtheatre you have to look at British models that drive down ticket prices and bring in new, younger audiences.

FacesofWayne: (Ottawa) The ideas here are applicable everywhere.

FacesofWayne: @TheatreSmart I am not a big fan of talkbacks. Actors are not authorities on the play. They are just performers.

nyneofuturists: here’s something to add to @thenextstagemag’s discussion about theater from yesterday: (via @TDFNYC)

Now that’s a great way to kick start a week. My admiration and thanks to all who dropped a #fixtheatre tweet, commented and re-tweeted.

Don’t hesitate to drop any more thoughts in the comments, or keep the discussion going on twitter with the #fixtheatre hash tag. The revolution will be hashed out…

Image courtesy of Flickr user Max F. Williams