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Presentation by Doro Siepel, director Theatre Zuidplein-Rotterdam, Empowering the Audience: Shared Choice?

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation by Doro Siepel, director Theatre Zuidplein-Rotterdam, Empowering the Audience: Shared Choice?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation by Doro Siepel, director Theatre Zuidplein-Rotterdam, Empowering the Audience: Shared Choice?

2 Late 1990s Theatre Zuidplein needed to change policy after a systematic decline in audience numbers. The world around us had changed, but our policies on programming and marketing had not. So late 1990s we started (at the request of our municipal) programming foreign productions for immigrants. We hoped to attract new audiences.

3 Conclusions in 2006 after six years experience with audience development: (5 points) 1. New audiences had too little identification with the programmed performances. 2. We ourselves had fear of loss of quality, because most peers did not like the performances. Our new audiences thought the quality was excellent.

4 3. We were nicknamed Immigrant Theatre. 4. Our theatre surroundings remained unchanged (a dangerous, unsafe area). 5. City of Rotterdam deemed the new programming experiment too expensive. So in 2006 we had to change policy again!

5 Most important changes in our policy since 2006: 1.We aim for lower educated people (that is 75% of Rotterdam citizens). Why? -Less competition -Challenges with peers & funds -Challenges with employees

6 2.Their (lower educated people) requirements determine our policy on programming, marketing, staff, finance etc. -So the starting point is marketing (empowering the audience) -Challenges: lot of research because of very segmented target groups -Challenges: realizing new audiences -Challenges: realizing new programs -Challenges with peers & funds -Challenges with staff & employees

7 3.We mainly program socially engaged theatre productions our audience can identify with. Why? -Theatre is the mirror of society -Our audience is very socially involved & interested -We are funded with public money -Challenge: not enough programs available where lower educated audiences can identify with

8 4. We are actively involved with municipal developments in the area (social foothold). Why? -We are responsible for the area we live & work in -Audience & neighbourhood -Challenges: takes a lot of time

9 5.We feel responsible for the education and job opportunities for (immigrant) youth. Why? -We are responsible for the city we live and work in -70 interns a year in Theatre Zuidplein -Marketing strategy: new audiences -New ideas & new energy -Challenges: economic crisis

10 6.We work with guest programmers from various culture backgrounds and ages. Why? -We empower the audience (because we dont know what they like) -They book performances (50% of our total program) -We meet new theatre makers (national and international) -We meet new audiences -Challenge: repeat visits

11 7.Recently we started with Co-Creation: Ladies Night for young ambitious women ( years). Why? -We empower the audience -New audiences -Challenge: keeping our artistic profile -Challenge: ratio price/quality

12 8.From 2013 on (co)productions in our new established theatre company: Stage Z Why? -To realize repeat visits and attract more new audiences -New socially engaged theatre for our target groups: -domestic violence -obesity -Looking for directors who are :-willing to work for specific target groups -truly interested in the stories of the target groups. Call me!

13 We have been very successful the last 6 years. It has been a challenge, but a nice one! We aim to be as successful the next 4 years. But to be honest: With the economic crisis at hand: we are slightly nervous……… But we like a challenge!


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