Engaging with rural communities to develop new audiences

Engaging with rural communities to develop new audiences

By Curtis Fulcher


When I Was A Rat toured to The Courtyard Arts Centre in Hereford in 2013, two family-based circus skills workshops were organised by The Coutyard at Moccas Village Hall and Kingsland Village Hall. The Courtyard's marketing team had identified these two villages as being in areas of low engagement with the venue. The workshops linked well with the physical theatre, musical and dramatic elements of I Was A Rat and aimed to engage with a new audience. The Courtyard has minimal local competition for arts audiences but it has to tackle the challenge of rural Herefordshire’s scattered population.  


  • to identify themes from the show and use them to try and recreate its essence in the community 
  • to engage with people in rural areas who would not normally think of buying tickets 
  • to engage with the identified communities and turn them into customers 
  • to provide a free activity/event 
  • to provide free transport linked to the activity from the customers’ locations 
  • encouraging people to purchase tickets rather than persuade them with complementary tickets 
Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2014