I'm back! With the second super spectacular half of how to choose your next show! I'm sure I could have turned this into about 20 blog posts, but I'm feeling solid in the top 6 I've written down for you. (I know I'm sure your super bummed I'm not doing 20 posts on this one topic....haha) Without further ado theatre doers and goers here is part two!
· Mission Statement
· Goals for the season
· Your area needs…..?
“Family-friendly” is an important phrase in PAPA’s mission statement. The meaning may differ from person to person, and it’s nearly impossible to make everyone happy, but for us it meant ruling out shows such as “Guys and Dolls”. Although the show would have been a blast, it revolves around gambling and a burlesque dancer (definitely NOT PG-rated). Your mission statement defines who you are, so make sure your choice of shows are honoring that! If you promote a “family-friendly theater” but have a show with partial nudity, your audience members (i.e. parents) might get upset. Same goes with promoting a theater that ‘pushes the envelope’ – your choice of "The Sound of Music" could lead to disappointment and confusion.
Your mission statement is just one part of your theatre. A question to ask yourself is “what are our goals for the season?” Do we want a big show everyone knows about to get more people involved in our productions? Or a show like "Annie" to boost youth participation? Something locally written could be a great choice! Maybe a whole showcase of one-acts from writers in your area. Big or small, simple or complex, writing down what goals your theatre has can get you pointed in the right direction.
Last but not least, we ask ourselves, “What are our community’s needs?” Those that support us shouldn’t be forgotten! For PAPA this means doing some local surveying and is something we highly suggest doing for your theatre. If your community is feeling low because the world is full of disaster, then it should be your duty to lift their spirits. Or perhaps you live amongst budding philosophers who want a show that challenges their views. Regardless, it’s important to know what the community wants – “our clients want our content; our content is for our clients”.
Hopefully this Part Two ties up any loose ends you might have from our last post (as well as given more insight into the mind of PAPA)! All in all, choosing a show for a theatre is always a tough thing. Way more goes into it than appears on the surface, so set yourself up for success by going through my six points with your theater in mind. The worst thing you as an organization can do is have a show tank because you didn’t put the proper time and thought into choosing it beforehand. (Remember however ticket sales don't always measure sucess...hmm... I sense another blog in the making....)
As artists, we put our heart and soul into every production, so make sure you’re listening and connected to the people around you. As a storyteller it’s your job to find out what story your community needs and to tell it! Good luck and happy telling!