The Play of the Month

Most of you are busy during the winter setting your schedule for next season. Coming up with works that will fill seats is often as difficult as finding new works that set the stage for the kind of theatre you want to produce— that is, theatre that is relevant to your audiences. With that in mind, why not take into consideration themes that fit the months in which you intend to produce your plays? Most holiday plays draw big audiences. But what about plays that reflect the “commemorative” months? This takes looking ahead and a little research, but tying a production to a nationally recognized event allows you to tap into marketing resources you may not have used in the past. Check out the commemorative months for the first part of the year: January, Weight Loss Awareness Month; February, Black History Month; March, Women’s History Month; April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month; May, Mental Health Awareness Month; and June, LGBT Pride Month. In selecting a play tied to the “theme” for the month, you will note that humor, history and fantasy can all be used to explore an issue. It is not necessary to only consider plays that directly or historically relate to the theme but also those that open up dialogue through experience whether real or imagined. Let your local newspaper know that you are producing a play that reflects the commemorative theme of the month. Contact any local organizations that are affiliated with the theme. You might find that new audience members emerge and you might even be able to add a few new names to your donor list by capturing the attention of those most interested in celebrating or recognizing a particular event or issue. When we consider the “purpose” of theatre from the beginning of time and that theatre at its best reflects the society in which it is created, then selecting plays that allow audiences to think and learn and consider serious subject matter while being entertained is a lofty goal for any theatre.