I just saw this article in The Stage about adding a Twitter row in the back of the house for patrons to twit while they watch a performance. Are we really getting desperate for audience members? Why does this feel so contrived. A certain theater company here in Chicago had someone twitter during a performance at their show. They gave her a big yellow feather boa and crown. But how annoying is it to sit and twit for the ENTIRE performance? Although some people do it while they are driving, eating…having sex. They do it all of the time. But are we really losing the battle in making theater entertaining for all?
Are we such prudes in the theater that we can’t recognize a great marketing strategy when we see one? I read a marketing article by 2AM where they were talking about the marketing strategy of David Mamet’s play Race that’s currently on Broadway. Apparently they were a bit desperate too:
The street team for Race that has been spotted working around TKTS in Times Square is comprised of women of various races who wear short, strapless, red sequined dresses (like the one the “victim” wore in the play) and who hand flyers to passersby.
Now, I’m all for sexually charged, aggressive marketing ideas, but did they step over the [moral] line? You have the models dressed like the alleged rape victim while enticing men (and women) to come see the play?
I went to see Mike Daisy’s How Theater Failed America at The Victory Gardens Theatre. He sends a one-two punch to your gut and your psyche as he seeks to break down the these same marketing strategies.
Why must we go to such desperate measures to get butts in the seat? Should we just put a screen up in the theater and call it a film? Is that where we’re headed? To combat this epidemic, I think people should start bootlegging theater like they do films and music-bring in a camera and video tape and sell the performance, (BET did it…sort of). Maybe if people felt like it was accessible then they would come and see it. Bootleg never stopped people from going to the movies or buying the music for that matter. What do you think?