Posted in Blog, social media, Transmedia Communication

Theatre, Marketing and Paratext

TBC Theatre is an independent theatre company based in Melbourne, with an ensemble of 16 artists.

Their latest work is an immersive theatre piece presented at The Melbourne General Cemetery.

Writer H. Clare Callow allows her story to transcend the stage and uses the digital space to provide further insight into the secrets of Mr Naismith.

theatre secret Melbourne cemetery
Image used with Permission: Image by Balloon Tree Productions. Text Design by Sarah Louise Tohill.

By introducing a ‘choose your own adventure’ element (Mr Naismith’s World: an interactive fiction) to the company’s website, the value of the production is increased.

Audience can experience the additional narrative content before the production, as a taster of whats to come. Or afterwards, as a way to further delight your audiences after they have left the show.

Similar to what Donnie Darko achieved, H. Clare Callow uses transmedia storytelling to enhance her work. Utilising the strengths of multiple platforms and digital formats to awaken different aspects of her work.

Additional narrative texts that are apart of the world of the main piece are called paratexts (remember movie trailers?).

graph paratext marketing theatre production
Created with Canva.

There are many ways to get the word out there for a production. Ultimately it’s about communicating the value of the production to your audience.

From traditional marketing to word of mouth, there are many resources in which to communicate your marketing efforts. Paratext is not only a way to extend the narrative of your production, but it is a piece of marketing in itself.

Paratext adds many levels of value.

The nature of the immersive theatre allows audiences to involve themselves in the story on a deeper level than traditional theatre. By including further elements to interact with outside of the theatrical space, the voyeur can continue to thrive on the drama.

Mr Naismith’s Secret is Sold Out, but one final performance has been announced, buy tickets here!

actor Melbourne theatre
Mr Naismith’s Secret, TBC Theatre

Now is the perfect time to get creative with marketing in theatre.

Whatever you do make sure you are always adding value for your audience,
not just focusing on their bums on your seats.


Side note: Yes I am currently in Boston for INBOUND16! Follow my antics on Instagram and Twitter.


Posted in Blog

Efficient and Cost Effective Marketing for Independent Productions

The plight of the marketing process for independent film and theatre can seem overwhelming and alienating. But with planning and creativity it can be a fun process of communicating with your audiences.

I went to my first Content Strategy Meet Up group recently, with great presentations from Mark Welker (Co-Founder at Commoner) and Lucy Piper (Video Production Manager at the Intrepid Group).

content strategy melbourne video production

What I love about attending these kinds of events is the inherent element of hearing things that you already know, but the framing of the information awakens new ideas and new ways of looking at things.

This time around it was the concept of the nose-to-tail approach to content creation.

nose to tail content creation
Image by Gemma Sherwood (Twitter: @gem_sherwood) of Lucy Piper (Twitter: @Lucy_Piper) presenting at #contentmelb.

What is Nose to Tail content creation?

It is about understanding that every stage and element of a project can be used in some way to assist the larger project (in the example by Lucy Piper, it’s called a ‘hero edit’).

With different social media platforms comes varied ways in which to communicate with audiences. What you need to figure out is, where are your audiences and why are they there?

Segmenting your content for specific audiences

I’ve been involved in many different capacities in productions in both film and theatre, and with these different roles, comes different perspectives of a production.

When considering a production you are involved in, consider how what you are experiencing can be communicated to audiences for your production.

You have the opportunity of reaching audiences who love the style or genre, peers in a similar field and people who don’t yet know that their worlds are about to be rocked. Break your audience down even further to understand their needs and how they will value your work.

Once you identify their needs and how your project fulfils that need, you can begin to create ways to communicate this exchange through marketing efforts.

Multitasking: It saves time and money

Consider every moment you are working on an element of your production as an opportunity to communicate another component of your story.

The only tool you need is your smartphone. Take pictures. Film things. Understand the latest Instagram trends and think about how you can utilise that knowledge to create your own awesome little piece of marketing.

So, during filming, or rehearsal, appreciate that there is the possibility to capture the essence of your work through unconventional means. It’ll save time and stress later down the track.

The more strategic you are with the process of content creation, the wealthier your resources will be.

Dynamic Creativity

As you know, the best ideas often come from the strangest places at the most random times. Don’t let these moments slip away. Appreciate that you can’t plan for everything,  be fluid and allow your creative juices to guide you.

By being prepared and disciplined, you have the ability to navigate through a creative juice flood, instead of being bowled over by it.

Enjoy my creative juice tangent?
What colour is yours? I see mine as a pink and purple, sparkly, majestic ocean.

Keep in touch by commenting below or subscribing!

Big thank you to the wonderful team at Content Melbourne Meet Up and the October speakers Mark Welker and Lucy Piper.