The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

How will you celebrate March 27? January 25, 2010

Filed under: World Theatre Day — Rebecca Coleman @ 12:33 am
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March 27 you say? Saturday? What’s the big deal about March 27?

World Theatre Day!!

First a bit of background. As you know,  I am a theatre publicist, and for the past two years, I have done publicity for our local GVPTA WTD celebrations. I have also been blogging for a little over a year. Last year, while we were planning our WTD celebrations, I started thinking “what if we made WTD a truly international celebration? What if there was a place on the internet where people could share their WTD stories, and also get information about WTD, its mandate, and ideas about how to celebrate it in their own communities?”

So, I put the word out through Twitter, and in short order, we assembled an amazing, skilled team of facilitators from all over the world. Some of whom, while they were theatre artists, had never heard of World Theatre Day.

We got the blessing of the ITI, and the World Theatre Day Blog was the result. If you page back, or look at our Tumblog, you’ll see all the amazing and awesome ways that theatre artists from all over the world celebrated March 27, 2009.

My "Standing on Books" meme from last year's WTD

This year, we need your help to make WTD 2010 an even greater success!

Here are some things you can do to celebrate World Theatre Day in your community:

  • Go to a play, and take a friend.
  • Organize a play reading in your community
  • Write, videotape, or record why you love theatre, and email it to frabbaurt633@tumblr.com
  • Read the World Theatre Day International Address (this year’s has not been published yet, but you can believe the second it is, it’ll be on both blogs!)  prior to curtain at your theatre, or include it as a handout in your theatre’s program. Ask a local favorite actor or dignitary to read it. If you can, record this reading by photos, video or audio, and email it (or the link, if you are uploading it to Flickr, or YouTube) to frabbaurt633@tumblr.com. It will automatically post to the Tumblog.
  • If you have a blog, write a post about what you are doing to celebrate World Theatre Day in your area, then email the URL to findbex@gmail.com. We will cross-post your entry on the WTD blog.
  • If you don’t have a blog, please email your story directly to us, and we will post it on the blog.
  • Offer backstage tours of your theatre to the local community
  • Offer open rehearsals to your community
  • Offer discounted or free tickets.
  • Offer open readings to your community.
  • Share photos of your production and photos of your cast and crew with your audience to the World Theatre Day media hub.
  • Distribute theatre-related books, scripts etc. around your part of the world for example, Book Crossings (http://www.bookcrossing.com), ‘release your books’ in a public place – theatre foyers; coffee shops; park benches etc. Put a sticker on the front saying something like, ‘I’m free. Please give me a home. Happy World Theatre Day!’
  • Work up a flash mob. Gather people together in a particular place at a particular time to ‘do’ something theatre-related e.g., everyone gathered reads a sonnet in a supermarket or just freezes at a particular time reading an obviously theatre-related book, then moves on after 1 minute’s freeze. Guaranteed to attract attention! Hurry! the GVPTA’s deadline for Flashmob submissions is this Friday, January 29. Email your submission to info@gvpta.ca. For more information, click here.

One new thing we are going to try to facilitate this year is to make connections, via technology, between theatres in different cities, or even countries. If you are planning on having a WTD celebration party, let us know, and we will try to hook you up, via Skype or some other means, with another city who is doing the same thing.

For more information and suggestions, as well as a media release template, download the Getting Started Toolkit.

After all, World Theatre Day is about us celebrating how amazing the work that we do every day is!

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Let’s Make a Scene! October 5, 2009

Every year, our local Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance hosts a conference that takes place over one weekend in October. There are discussions, workshops, and keynotes. Plus quite a bit of socializing and some alcohol consumption.

This year, in light of the drastic cuts to the arts, the theme of Making a Scene is THEATRE MATTERS! They keynote speaker is George Thorn, co-director of Arts Action Research out of Portland.

Here’s what his partner, Nello McDaniel, has to say about the work that they do there:

“ARTS Action Research believes that the challenges confronting today’s arts organizations demand that arts professionals and their community partners respond more forcefully and proactively than ever before. These responses must be complex not reflex, strategic not prescriptive, systemic not situational, studied and deliberate not imitative and tentative, and most of all they must be from the inside out, not engineered from a distance. The future demands that our organizational responses be as creative, bold, entrepreneurial, clear, courageous and adaptable as the art we produce, exhibit and present. ARTS Action Research is committed to an arts community that is artist-centered — led and directed by arts professionals.”

Pretty cool.

Also in the “pretty cool” category, Simon and I will be again on a panel discussing social media. On Saturday afternoon, October 31 (yes, Hallowe’en, and you are encouraged to come in costume. You’re actors, for pete’s sake!), at 1:30, we will be on a panel moderated by Sean Allen called The Power of Social Media.

Here’s the blurb:

The Power of Social Media:
We all know that Social Media is a good thing… right? But what can it really do for your organization besides take up time from your work day? Join us in this open forum as we share inspiring examples and inspire each other with stories of the power of social media for theatre organizations. Moderator: Sean Allan (Chair– GVPTA Advocacy Committee)

We will specifically be talking about The World Theatre Day blog and other success stories.

You should come. For more information, or to register: http://www.gvpta.ca

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Come and join the world in celebrating Theatre! February 13, 2009

wtd-avatar2Last year, I did a job for our local Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance–publicity for their annual World Theatre Day celebrations.

World Theatre Day takes place every year on March 27, and is the brainchild of the International Theatre Institute. It’s aim is to:

“promote international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts (drama, dance, music theatre) in order to consolidate peace and solidarity  between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding and  increase creative co-operation between all people in the theatre arts”

Pretty cool, hey?

So, last year, our WTD celebrations took place, with the participation and cooperation of  many of our local companies, all during the week of March 27. And we were very successful in getting the attention of both the media and the local community.

I’m helping out with publicity for our local WTD celebrations again this year, but I started thinking… what if we made this thing truly international? We have the technology…  So, I’m pleased to announce, that, with the help and support of The Next Stage, we are throwing a World Theatre Day party, and everyone’s invited!

We’ve started a blog: http://wtd09.wordpress.com. If you are interested in participating, details are there, but basically, we want to hear what your local theatre community is doing to celebrate the power of theatre. And, on March 27, we want you to log in and live blog your events, upload pictures or videos… we want to hear from you!

It’s gonna be a great party, and the more theatre lovers/bloggers/producers/writers/artists get invovled, the better it’s going to be! I, for one, just can’t wait to get this party started….

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I feel like a gospel preacher… November 15, 2008

I’m still buzzing.

Yesterday afternoon, I got to be part of a panel on Marketing Using Web 2.0 at the GVPTA’s annual Making a Scene Theatre Conference (see previous post and its shameless fawning over Daniel MacIvor). I am always a bit nervous at these things, just because I fear I won’t know the answers to questions, but the great thing about being on a panel, is that there are other people who probably will.

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Me, Simon Ogden and Rebecca Bolwitt in the Upstairs lounge at the Arts Club. Photo courtesy of Miss 604.

Enter my fellow panelists: Rebecca Bolwitt (the lovely Miss 604 herself) and Simon Ogden (who is on a crusade to create a new Vancouver theatre audience). Rebecca’s input was invaluable–she gave, I think, credibility to what we had to say, because she is a professional blogger, and comes off as such. Simon and I were able to chime in with our experiences of marketing shows using Web 2.0 technology.

I’ll be really up front about my reasons for agreeing to be on this panel. As theatre artists, we need to get serious about marketing. But we live in lean times, and only the largest companies among us can afford to buy advertising on the side of a bus (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). For the rest; small to medium-sized independent theatre companies, we have to find new and inexpensive ways to market our shows, and Web 2.0 technology is custom-made.

We talked for an hour and a half to the standing-room-only crowd about blogging–both starting your own blog to give your client base a ‘peek behind the scenes’, and how to pitch your show to bloggers to get them to write about it, and the marketing applications of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, My Space, E-mail, E-mail newsletter software, and online event listings.

And people were getting it–they were engaged, asking questions, taking notes, and I could see light bulbs going on. It was really, really exciting. I think we may have converted a few souls.

Can I get an Amen?

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Daniel MacIvor and I are in some good company. November 13, 2008

It’s no secret that Daniel MacIvor is my favorite Canadian male playwright. If I had a buck for every time I’ve performed This Is A Play, I’d… well, I could buy a pizza, for sure.

Yep, he's the man...

Yep, he's the man.

The esteemed Mr. MacIvor is in town this weekend, he’s speaking a the annual GVPTA Making A Scene Conference. It happens this Friday, Saturday and Sunday down on Granville Island. In addition to MacIvor (you can see him twice on Saturday), other notables who will be speaking on panels or giving workshops include Jackson Davies (on a panel called The Business of Acting in Theatre and Film, how much do I love that??), Martin Kinch from The Playwright’s Theatre Centre (a short commute for him), Norman Armour, whose PuSH Festival is doing some amazing stuff in Vancouver’s theatre scene, and the always hysterical (in a very lovely way) Jackie Blackmore.

Oh, yeah, and me. Rebecca Bolwitt, Simon Ogden and I are going to be part of a panel discussion called The New Face of Marketing: Facebook, Text and the Blogger’s World. This is happening Friday, Nov 14, 1:30-3pm in the Arts Club Theatre’s upper lobby.

So, maybe I’ll see you there. I wonder if MacIvor will come to my panel?

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