How can we be more open to new audiences?

Vicki Stevenson, 15 September 2012

New spaces - take theatre outside traditional spaces e.g. into shops where the work is more visible to new audiences

Make the work free if possible to draw in people who wouldn't risk money on a ticket for something they might not enjoy

Theatre buildings:
Try and create welcoming public spaces where people can feel safe and where they have some ownership. Places people use rather than pass through.
Need to own their place in the community - not be complacent

Work within communities:
Trust leads to a response so spend time with people listening to what they want to do/see
Don't go in with an agenda
Continue working with the community and maintain contact - this should build confidence and potentially draw people into your other work
A lot of time and energy

If reaching new audiences and working with communities is important to your work or organisation, make this everyone's responsibility not just one person's

Be prepared to find yourself in a potentially scary place
Putting yourself out there and really listening as an individual building real relationships
Be friendly and smiley!

Build relationships with other theatre companies or buildings - you could help each other deliver the work you want and reach a wider audience by sharing resources and recognising each group's strengths

Why do you want to reach new audiences? Be prepared to change your organisation quite significantly if you really want to reach them - a big commitment of your time

Remember you can't be all things to all people

Theatre isn't for everyone, but everyone has something they're interested in


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