Regional voices talk theatre: audience development for the performing arts

Scollen, Rebecca J. (2008) Regional voices talk theatre: audience development for the performing arts. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 13 (1). pp. 45-56. ISSN 1465-4520


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[Abstract]: Audience development is somewhat of a ‘buzz word’ within the Australian performing arts sector at present. However, rather than actually engage with audiences and with non-attenders to discover how to best service the community, most performing arts organisations approach audience development from a product-centred viewpoint.

In direct contrast to this, the Talking Theatre project (2004-2006) was implemented in regional Queensland and in the Northern Territory in Australia as an audience development initiative focused on the consumer. The project sought to assist performing arts centres (PACs) to better engage with their local communities and to build new audiences for the future. In particular, the research aimed to understand non-attenders; their reasons for non-attendance, and their reactions to a range of live performances they experienced under study conditions.

The Talking Theatre project provided the vehicle for introduction, communication and relationship building to occur to assist in attitudinal and behavioural change. The non-attenders enjoyed their experiences at the PACs and have begun attending performances outside of study conditions. Limited awareness of the performing arts’ relevance to their lives combined with a lack of positive peer influence to attend, were the chief deterrents to attendance for the participants in the study.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:05
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2015 02:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: audience development, regional Australia, performing arts, non-attendance, theatre, marketing
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/nvsm.298

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