The Players Theatre
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The Players Theatre Company has just emerged in the press as a reputable, quality theatre company. There has been an increased interest in the community in our classes and productions. Currently, traditional theatre is available to the public, but there has been a call for educational performances. We want to take advantage of this current popularity to grow in funding and in audience (both quantitatively and geographically).
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We are experiencing growth in interest in theatre from the community and the current trend in education and entertainment. Also our demographics are widening, encompassing more and more people from different walks of life. There is definitely an opportunity here to be seized.
As a theatre company (as opposed to an established theatre), we have the flexibility to move from region to region giving us greater access to a wider audience. Currently we are restricted to our county because of our limited contacts, but we are focusing on growing to eventually encompass the entire West Coast and possibly the rest of the country.
Most people who go to the theatre go to see live theatre. Since movies, home video rentals and TV are prevalent, a theatregoer is not a hard sell. They want to be there. They have made a conscious choice about how they wish to be entertained. These people can be of any age, any nationality, and any gender. We have low ticket prices so we can include all levels of economic status, but most theatregoers are of middle economic status since most theatres tend to have high ticket prices ($15-$20). The common factors, however, are the following:
Theatregoers are loyal consumers. If they like a show, they will come back for other performances. However, the frequency with which the average audience member goes to a show is most likely once a month, oftentimes less. Teachers and students, however, want more and more live performances to energize their curriculum and the call for theatre is frequent.
The value of live theatre is immeasurable. The Players Theatre Company offers self-growth and education to all of its audiences. Our classes for students are focused on building self-confidence through theatre games and performance. Our classes for educators offer new and interesting ways on how to approach traditional academic subjects such as math and social studies. We also teach new ways on how to relate to students and how to optimize the learning time in the classroom. Moreover, The Players rework traditional pieces and create new pieces to fit in with the fast-paced times of the end at the 20th century. Our performances are always a new experience for audiences even if it is a new rendition of Romeo and Juliet. We try to relate as performers to our contemporary audience and offer new insights on our society.
The trend in education is towards breaking traditions and discovering new ways in how to teach and how to relate to students. For example, teachers are going to seminars about the different ways people learn: visual, aural, etc. The call for something new is where our theatre company steps in. Not only do we offer classes but also performances that draw from history, social issues, and literature, and we present them in a new non-traditional format.
As theatre becomes more and more commercial, and with the burst of touring Broadway shows, more and more people are becoming interested and aware of the value that live theatre has for our communities. Even non-traditional shows are selling out to audiences who just five years ago would have never stepped inside a theatre.
The market trends discussed in the previous topic point toward a market growth currently estimated at 30% for the next two years. We would like to take advantage of this and try to create growth in our audience by at least 50% by expanding our tours beyond our home county and then outside of the state, and so on.
The following is an outline of The Players Theatre Company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Currently our strengths and opportunities outweigh our weaknesses; however, our weaknesses punctuate our need for more of the following resources: time, employees, and funding.
Other local theatre companies offer performances of lesser quality compared to ours, which has been stated repeatedly in newspaper and theatre magazine reviews. Also, our tickets are priced from $3-$8 less than other companies, making us more accessible to a wider audience. Two companies: the Shakespearean, and the Downtown, have opened classes to students at, however, a higher price, and in a limited venue. We take our classes to the schools and offer a sliding fee scale, so that any student can attend. What is most unique about The Players, is that we take our performances on tour to regional school districts and will sometimes, depending on our financial situation, offer these free to poorer communities.
Also we must keep in mind, that there are other forms of entertainment, such as movie theaters, video rentals, and the option of theatregoers travelling to other markets with live theatre, i.e.. New York. However, we are focusing on offering services that none of these provide, such as educational seminars. Film entertainment is very different from a live theatre experience so just in that aspect, we offer something unique. Travelling to view live theatre is often not an option for many people, and our tours fill this gap in the market.
The following we consider to be our keys to success:
Our major issue to face is lack of audience. We have a solid foundation of dedicated, creative workers that make things happen, but our business depends on there being an audience--a good-sized audience at that. If our following decreases even to 500, that is not enough for us to grow or even sustain our business. However, with the combined experience, education, dedication, and innovation of our company, we can implement plans and strategies that will not only guarantee a growth in audience but in our business as well.
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