As I mentioned in my last post, I really enjoyed my company's production of Mark Ravenhill's pool (no water) at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre. I saw it again today as I filmed archival footage and felt that it had now found it's groove. Most of my previous nitpicks are now gone and I am proud of the work the cast and crew are doing. What I am saying is that it's a solid show, both funny and despicable at the same time, and it is well worth seeing. Unfortunately, that's not quite the case.
Attendance for the show is definitely not where I would want it to be (though to be fair, I would want sold out houses every night, so let me rephrase that to attendance is not where I expect it to be, which would be at least 50% attendance in a 70 seat venue). As the Marketing Coordinator for the show, this is a hard fact for me to accept. The cast and crew have done their part in producing a good show and it is my responsibility to put bums in seats. Though I've worked my ass off, I'm not sure what else I can do. Our budget is incredibly small and I've exhausted many a free publicity avenue: we're in free listings all over town and on the web; our website has been updated; our facebook group and event listing includes photos and reviews; posters and flyers are out... Unfortunately, while we've been able to get some fantastic reviews from the online community (including a new one from (Cult)ure Magazine), the mainstream media have yet to pick us up. Unlike many a theatre centre, Ottawa only has two (sometimes three) active theatre critics. While one made it out to opening night and told me personally that he enjoyed the show, he also informed me that he would not be writing a review since there was "no room" in the paper for it. This is a big blow for a small company like ours which requires all the coverage we can get to raise awareness of our work outside the theatre community.
So, I've decided to call for help from all my arts marketing friends in the blogosphere. How do you do it? Do you have any inexpensive (ie. free) suggestions I could use in order to push ticket sales?
I look forward to any advice you might have. In the meantime, because I like them so much, here's another production shot from pool (no water).