Not every show is a guaranteed sell out just by title alone, there are some shows that require a lot of publicity and a lot of foot work by the cast to get sold out performances. It’s the nature of the business, even shows on Broadway struggle and close early. In the community theater world, it’s very rare to close a show early and in my experience, and although I’ve never seen it happen–I know it’s a possibility.
I’ve experienced several shows that sell poorly before opening night and it’s an unfortunate experience, and actually really overwhelming, and you feel bothered people can’t see the greatness you’ve seen over and over again. But it’s important to realize that because they haven’t seen the greatness you’ve seen (over and over again), they aren’t as excited as you are and therefore are not enticed to see the show.
How do you go about changing that? You have to change their perspective and give them something that whets the palette. Make it enticing. Publicity shots, especially if they don’t give away the plot line which is a pet peeve of mine, help a great deal. Get them to the newspapers (yes, we still have patrons who read newspapers and expect to see ads run there), electronic publications, facebook, instagram–everything. You cannot over-publicize a production–especially if it’s a production you feel strongly about.
Tell them the story and tell them why they have to come and see the show. Will they learn something? Love somebody? Laugh their asses off? Want to get up and dance? Tell them. All the good. Some of the bad. Leave them wanting more, dripping with anticipation.
A picture is worth a thousand words. What better way to show people what they are missing than by.. showing them what they’re missing? I know, that was a bit of a silly question but it’s a pretty good statement, it has stood the test of time in accuracy.
‘Til next time.