Assume less, learn more - that has been my motto throughout the Audience Diversity Academy; particularly during my experiments into researching mid-scale venue locations (400-800 seats).
Unlike small scale studio tours, where we often only visit a venue for one night, we are now going to be touring to regional venues for up to 2/3 weeks at a time. This ambitious move from producing and touring small scale work, to developing and co-producing midscale productions, has highlighted the importance of carving out time to learn more about the venue locations –in order to better understand where it is, we are touring to, and the potential audience demographics. So, being more strategic in our approach to marketing and audience development.
China Plate have also recently launched a new engagement and participation programme, which will build on the work we already do with schools, extend our artist development strand to younger members of the public, whilst developing more opportunities for the public to engage with our theatre productions outside of the show themselves.
Having taken the time to digest Northampton and Southampton, as you would if you were visiting as a tourist; has identified places, interests, events, groups and organisations to engage with –formulating‘real’ distinctive examples of the show’s target audiences-specific to that area.
This list also allows us to discuss with the venue, which of those audiences they consider harder to reach, and how we might support them in brokering new relationships with their local community; whilst simultaneously reiterating which of our proposed targets are avenues to prioritise and focus on when we action our delivery.
Doing this experiment as part of the ADA, has been invaluable in unpicking thoughts and principles and cultivating the time and space to try something new. I feel if I can adopt the ‘assume less, learn more’ philosophy in my role as Digital Lead, I will be better equipped to implement and support the Audience Development and Marketing plans.
Sarah Isaacs, Administrator and Digital Lead at China Plate