Community theatre is your passion but if that’s all it is, your company will, at best, never thrive and, at worst, fail. I understand that all you want to do is perform and give others in your community an outlet for their creative passions and these are noble intentions but not enough to sustain a theatre company. You need skills in building loyal community within your group, the ability to develop a marketing strategy that sells tickets, organisational strategies that allow the few people doing everything to project professionalism without burning out and finally increase the skill base of everyone on and off the stage. Not much to ask for!
I’ve seen these things done well but mostly, I’ve seen them done poorly with the results being little theatre companies that only last a few years, leaving their founders in debt or, worse still, companies that hang on for years, never selling enough seats to make a profit. Like it or not, theatre is not just creativity, it’s a business. Without the ability to put bums on seats you may as well be performing in your living room.
Combining my business and theatre experience I have found things that work and don’t work and I hope that in writing them down, others can avoid common mistakes, try new things and generally improve their community theatre experiences. I encourage you to connect with me on facebook or send me an email with your questions and experiences. I’d love to hear your community theatre story.