While digital media has been around since the 50’s, it was not until the 21st century that made the digital media industry booming with the introduction of social media and smartphones. Digital media marketing is said to be one of the fastest and most effective ways to reach a large amount of audience in a short time span. The theatre industry – which was previously known to cater mostly to older audiences, have finally decided to step their game up and has since been heavily relying on digital media to promote their productions in hopes to reach out to a wider audience segments. The following post will focus on some useful tips and tricks that I think will help in boosting theatre audiences while helping fill the house.
While it is in the law for arts and cultural organizations in Australia to be accessible to people with disabilities, student theatre has often neglected this side of the deal.
There were many firsts for me in my theatre performing experience this year with the UHT Macbeth production. I not only performed my first Shakespeare play, but I also got to experience being in production where accessibility was provided to audience in need. The UHT has made amendments to their administration this year, and one of the major changes is to include accessible performances for people with disabilities. As the University has a disabilities department on its own, it is a given that the UHT would want to cater to people with disabilities that longed to catch a show at the Union Theatre or Guild Theatre. For the Macbeth production, UHT had made special posters and promotional images for the accessible performance times that was subsequently posted on the official Facebook page, event page, UMSU website, and other promotional sites like StudentVIP, Arts Access, and the Australian Stage to reach out to as many audiences as possible.
After four years of performing new contemporary works, I’ve finally decided this year that I will at least perform one classical play – particularly Shakespeare’s works. Coming from Malaysia where our education systems did not make it compulsory for students to learn English literature, I was always afraid to embarrass myself speaking text I wasn’t familiar at all with. In May of this year, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed that Union House Theatre (UHT) was calling out for people to audition for their upcoming production in September – and it was a classic banger – Macbeth ! I immediately told myself that it was a sign and I just had to brace myself to audition for this one. I had to start somewhere.
Besides the fact that I love performing, I had many other reasons why I decided to sign up to audition almost right away:
You’ll often hear words like “empowerment”, “girl power”, and “feminism” when someone who identifies as a feminist voices out on current issues that seem to sexualize and belittle women. Today when digital media plays a big role in many of our daily lives, these feminist are making sure to utilize the power of the web to come up with various campaigns and programmes celebrating and empowering women easily.
Women in Theatre
It’s been known that many female performing artists have been finding it extremely hard to secure stable gigs. Even in the theatre world, on stage and off, women are often seriously underrepresented among playwrights, producers, and artistic directors. Notably, classical theatre (ie. Shakespearean plays and sonnets) are well known for casting an all-male or male-dominated cast. I’ve read (and watched) a fair amount of reviews and plays throughout the years and discovered that many directors don’t consider switching up gender roles, resulting in female artists (who, mind you, makes up half of the thespian population) not given an equal chance to audition for roles even if they were equally as skilled in their own respect.