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  • 1.  How to Encourage Attendance at Shows and Convincing Administration?

    Posted 05-24-2023 20:16


    I've recently started a theatre department at the school I teach at (G1-12). We had an elementary school performance and a high school performance last semester. The high school performance was only presented as an in-school showing. This semester we are putting on our first full, 2-act comedy, The Brother's Grimm Spectaculathon. Again, administration has relegated our performance to an in-school showing only. I've tried to explain we should have an after school performance for parents, however, they responded that there may not be many parents who are interested and they felt it is not necessary. Polling the students (14 of them) I got a mixed response, mostly siding that parents wouldn't come. I doubt that a bit since I think they might just be shy of having their parents watch them, so they just "asked." My thought is if we were at least open to an after-school performance not only could parents come, we would start to get possible attention in the community and that would be great publicity for the school.

    Some background, I am in a non-English speaking country, though the students are all native or near-native English speakers, we are considered an international public school. All of our performances are free admission. We are only just starting out so we have very rudimentary sets, costumes, props, etc... I am really trying to build something here and am fighting an educational environment that doesn't necessarily see the value in the arts. Extracurricular/after-school activities that folks in the USA might be familiar with (marching band, chorus, sports, theatre) just doesn't really exist here. While my direct administration has been incredibly supportive and encouraging of me getting the program going, even expanding it to include middle school next year, maybe my ambition is bigger than what they are seeing. 

    My question is, does anyone in the community have any suggestions or recommendations to increase interest in attendance for shows? Or convince administration that we should have an after school show? Or am I thinking too much?

    Sean Graham
    Performing Arts & Homeroom Teacher
    Intl. Bilingual Sch. at Central Taiwan Sci. Park

  • 2.  RE: How to Encourage Attendance at Shows and Convincing Administration?

    Posted 05-25-2023 08:16

    I can see what they are thinking... is there a way to start small to build up the thought of beginning to build up an audience, begin with possibly a group of scenes from public domain scripts, and assemble an 1.5 hour production with an intermission, after have the performers come out for Q&A for those fans that might have questions or want to compliment the performers, this will help educate the theater goers, maybe serve refreshments after to keep them there at the Q&A, taking baby steps, don't charge admission... like getting them hooked on theater and them appreciating it and the word spreads, make it an event not to be missed, invite important people to be seen... just my thoughts, good luck in this pursuit.

    Jerry Onik
    V.P. Theatrical Supplies and Equipment
    Heartland Scenic Studio