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18th December 2015 Sara Lock

Red Earth Theatre Business Model Case Study

By: Mark Robinson


Learn how Red Earth Theatre created a more sustainable business model to overcome the ‘crisis of short-termism’ often experienced by project-funded organisations.

Introducing Red Earth Theatre

Founded in 1999 by co-directors Amanda Wilde and Wendy Rouse, Red Earth Theatre is a Company Limited by Guarantee and became a Registered Charity in 2010.

Based in the East Midlands, Red Earth has established a reputation for touring theatre and the development of drama projects for children, young people and communities. It has a
particular specialism in integrated theatre involving deaf and disabled actors and for audiences including deaf and disabled young people.

Red Earth Theatre became a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) of Arts Council England in 2012 with a remit for touring diverse work focused on disability and children and young
people.

Derby, where the company was originally based, has the largest deaf community per capita outside of London due to the local history of the Royal School for the Deaf. Red Earth
was initially invited to work with a group from Derby Deaf Family Club and found itself making a deaf pantomime.

Red Earth rooted itself in the East Midlands due to this particular Customer Segment of deaf children and young people. It now takes its inclusive practice beyond the East
Midlands but retains a number of core areas that often have concentrations of deaf people, such as Bristol.

The Business Model

Red Earth’s business model is an example of a touring company with a multi-sided model that has two distinct Customer Segments that are inter-dependent. It is driven by both the creative offer and those customer groups.

Customer Segments such as Arts Council England (ACE) and charitable grant givers can only derive value from Red Earth because its model of inclusive practice engages children and young people, including those who are deaf and disabled. This leads to the clear Value
Proposition that Red Earth can help some grant givers fulfil their own charitable objectives, in relation to equality and diversity.

The contribution Red Earth makes to ACE’s ‘Creative Case for Diversity’, as well as its contribution to the funder’s goals for young people’s engagement, was explicitly recognised when Red Earth became an NPO.

Deaf and disabled actors and other artists also help attract funders and inclusive audiences. This, in a virtuous circle, makes attracting high quality deaf and
disabled actors easier.

Red Earth’s model is one that sees the inclusion of people from ‘protected groups’ in its Value Proposition and Customer Segments as a positive asset rather than an extra barrier to success.

Download the case study to read more:

Red Earth Theatre Business Model Case Study (PDF)

Published:2015

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