Producing an audience-focused festival

Producing an audience-focused festival

By Etre Associazione


Luoghi Comuni 2014 - “Play with us” was the sixth edition of a festival organised each year by Etre Associazione (a network of Italian performing arts companies).  The 2014 festival took place in Mantova.  Participating companies were given the remit of producing (or adapting) theatre that would bring performers closer to their audience to create intense experiences.  Productions were performed in unconventional spaces (eg coffee shops, dressing rooms) in a town that was not accustomed to presenting such theatrical experiences – as such WOM was particularly powerful producing some challenges for the festival team. This case study was written by audience development intern Erica Bernardi (supervised by Etre Director, Fabio Ferretti).  More information is available at

Outcomes from LC14

  • The festival created an opportunity for people in Mantova to see performances in new spaces and in new ways. 
  • The festival sold out and demonstrated an increased demand for performing arts in Mantova. 
  • It created an intensified relationship between the actors, the performance space and the audience due to the nature of the performance spaces eg one actor, one audience member in a dressing room.
Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2014