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Content and the Community

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Other Topics
Forum Discription: For everything else
Printed Date: 9/26/23 at 2:10pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 -

Topic: Content and the Community
Posted By: drose
Subject: Content and the Community
Date Posted: 2/03/15 at 7:48pm
Greetings! I am curious how you all draw the line with adult content in your communities and whether or not you had to struggle to get away from doing "Harvey" and "The Sound of Music" (for example). We struggle with modernizing the content of our season and I'd love to know how everyone else handles this issue? How do you educate the audience to like something new? Or something with more adult content than they are used to?

Posted By: edh915
Date Posted: 2/03/15 at 10:39pm
It took a few years.

We do four to five shows a year.

We started by advertising one of the shows a "classic", and offered Tennessee Williams (Glass Menagerie one year, then Streetcar Named Desire the next), then Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, with All My Sons a year later.. Then we offered The Shape of Things, then Betty's Summer Vacation, Dead Man's Cell Phone and Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them.

We did just one serious/controversial show a year. Over time, the patrons became willing to stretch their theatrical horizons.

All the other things we did were Neil Simon, Jones Hope & Wooten, Kauffman and Hart, and silly sex farces like Boeing, Boeing, Love, Sex and the IRS, No Sex Please, We're British, Out of Order, etc.

We also picked one specific time of year to always show the serious or controversial stuff; which, for us, was the April show.

Also, every January we have a season kick-off where we show scenes from the year's upcoming shows. It whets their appetites, and we warn them about the April show, but in a way that sort of dares them to come see and decide for themselves.

It's been working very well for us, but it didn't happen overnight.

Hope this has been helpful.

Posted By: Majicwrench
Date Posted: 2/04/15 at 11:53am
We do a adult show every year or two, and simply advertise it as "Adult", like Ed mentions above, it sort of "dares" them to come. Those that have a problem with it, just don't show.

Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 2/04/15 at 1:41pm
Hm. We do 5 shows a season and try to do one "risk" show each year (we define "risk" as a show with adult or controversial content, or a title that is challenging or unknown.) The majority of our audience is resistant to these shows. The is definitely a small contingent that appreciates it, but it a small and not very vocal contingent. I like the idea of presenting the season with an understated challenge to try something new. And perhaps we should look at a more long term progression of specific titles from point a to point b. (with the flexibility to adapt is something crashes and burns or, conversely, sells like hotcakes). Thanks for the input!

Posted By: Majicwrench
Date Posted: 2/04/15 at 4:07pm
I have learned to accept the fact that some shows are not going to be as well received. Doing something fun/different/challenging/scary is good no matter how may show, unless you are tied to the Almighty Dollar.

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