Scollen, Rebecca (2009) Talking theatre is more than a test drive: two audience development methodologies under review. International Journal of Arts Management, 12 (1). pp. 4-13. ISSN 1480-8986
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Test Drive the Arts (Morris Hargreaves McIntyre) and Talking Theatre (Scollen) are two successful audience development methodologies committed to building new audiences from non-attenders. This paper details the two methodologies to explain their similarities and differences, and to examine these in relation to the findings of case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), New Zealand and Australia. Although Test Drive the Arts has helped performing arts organisations in the UK to retain 30% of the new audiences who participated in their program, the New Zealand pilot of this scheme in 2007 has fallen well short of the mark. Talking Theatre has retained 30% of its participants as returning new audiences for performing arts centres in regional North-Eastern Australia by placing strong emphasis on post-performance audience reception, and by investing more in mutually beneficial relationships between new audience members and performing arts organisations.
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