Thesis: If you produce a show inside a bar, you might find people interested in seeing it in other bars.
Example: The Pink Line Project is an endeavor to raise the visibility of the arts in Greater Washington, DC and to use the arts and that greater visibility to encourage people to cross social borders that tend to balkanize our region. It is a passion project for its founder Philippa Hughes. They do a lot to promote arts attendance and participation.
See all about it here:
As an aside, if your community has no such project, start looking around for somebody in the patron world who might be committed, energetic, and loony enough to follow Philippa’s example. If you find the right candidate, all you’ll have to do is give her the idea then stand out of the way.
The specific example here is something Pink Line Project did in support of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart during its visit to DC. It was the Shakespeare Theatre Company that brought the show to DC. To the best of my knowledge, Pink Line Project carried out these promotional events on their own initiative.
Here’s a link to a photo album with a short description of the events:
I can’t testify to whether any money changed hands anywhere in the construction of these events. The folks listed as participants do a lot of volunteer work in the area. I don’t know how many attendances it inspired. The performance was full the night I attended and less than a third of the crowd were what I call usual suspects – people I share small theater auditoriums with repeatedly.
Definitely struck me as a model worth sharing.
I also see this as an extra credit example, because neither the producing nor the presenting theatre company had to create these events. Engaging friendly service organizations can serve as a powerful marketing multiplier.
Anybody out there working with organizations like this in your neighborhood?
Anybody out there cruising bars for audience members?
Self ordained chaplain of the American theatre.