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If you’re looking to further your education, raise funds, bring your team together, and add new folks to the roster, hosting a theatre workshop is a great way to do all that and more. Workshops require plenty of forethought and organization, but with the right tools in your tool belt, you’ll be able to grow your program and have fun doing it.
If you’re not sure where to start, On The Stage explains why workshops are a smart move for your theatre, and a few workshop subjects to tackle.
By running well-prepped workshops on a variety of subjects, you are showing people in your community that you are (or should be) a trusted expert in the theatre industry.
Through marketing yourself as an expert, more people will trust you and put stock in your offerings. This will lead to a variety of benefits, like increased ticket sales, a larger volume of workshop attendees, more business sponsorships, more community partnerships, greater social media numbers, higher engagement, and much more.
Workshops are an excellent opportunity to scope out future partners, patrons, actors, front-of-house staff, sponsors, and crew members.
Outside fundraising events and auditions, you may not get a ton of opportunities to meet with other creatives in your area and suss out their talents. Workshops allow you that luxury – they are a perfect way to network for whatever it is that you need.
The best way to flex your acting, leadership, collaboration, and technical skills is through practice, practice, practice. Hosting workshops and ensuring your cast and crew are involved helps to further your own theatrical education.
By teaching others the skills you’ve already learned, your team is honing specific talents and gaining confidence in their abilities simultaneously. And we all know a more confident team leads to greater performances down the line.
Workshops are also an excellent chance to work on internal teamwork. From choosing a subject to planning the curriculum, perfecting the exercises, selecting the dates, delegating tasks, stepping up for certain responsibilities, marketing your offerings, and executing the workshop itself, your teamwork and patience will be tested.
In the end, completing a workshop with your team – even if there are a few bumps – will make you feel more united as a team and will help you in future collaborative projects
Perhaps the most straightforward benefit of running a workshop is the financial gain. Selling tickets to your event helps to pad your bottom line – and gives you that extra income to improve upon costumes, set pieces, lighting and sound technology, and so much more.
For additional fundraising, consider selling merchandise at your workshops – either with your theatre’s logo or specifically for the workshop you’re hosting.
Hosting any public event will get your community talking – whether it’s a car wash, fun run, performance, or workshop.
Remember that you should use your workshop as a catalyst for dynamic social media marketing. Make sure you’re creating the buzz yourself – once it starts, it will take off with the power of your passionate followers.
If you’re hoping to get some fresh talent into your circle or are catering to younger students, a Theatre 101 workshop is a great way to get started.
In this workshop, you’ll discuss the ins and outs of theatre from a starter-level standpoint. You can go over general stage vocabulary, walk through audition etiquette, assist with general vocal and acting skills, and even help your workshop attendees put together a short performance from scratch.
The end goal here is to introduce potential new theatre members into your world while having fun and keeping it educational.
If you’re looking to get your actors and the community a little bit outside their comfort zones, consider hosting a workshop on improv.
In this type of offering, you and your team will definitely need to lead with a steady hand – after all, jumping into improv can be scary! There are a variety of exercises and games you can play, as well as interesting improv techniques and tips to make the transition smoother for anyone looking to get involved.
Pro Tip: Consider tapping your local improv troupe to come in and help – either the entire run of your workshop or for specific exercises.
You may want to get your crew members front and center, and hosting a workshop on lighting and sound basics can be a great way to do just that.
Have your lighting, sound, and stage crew teams split up to brainstorm ideas on how to best run a workshop on their specific areas of expertise. When workshop attendees arrive, they can be split into groups, jumping from subject to subject – or everyone can choose which they’d prefer to learn about. Make sure to allow attendees to get hands-on with equipment and tech, and that everyone gets a chance to nail sound and lighting queues. Who knows – maybe your next tech director is in your midst!
Appealing to professionals and theatre hopefuls in your area, a workshop on audition etiquette can have myriad benefits for the community and for you. After all, you’re preparing others for audition season – and you will likely get better auditions because of it!
Topics to discuss include understanding and selecting quality audition material, general etiquette before, during, and after auditions, perfecting your headshot, nailing chemistry in callbacks, and so much more.
If you are looking to cater to other creatives or educators in your area or are in search of someone to help you with your own program, a workshop on theatre leadership, directing, teaching, and producing can help you find the folks you need.
Topics can run the gamut here – from the best warm-ups for students to how leaders can make their cast and crew feel seen and respected. You can suggest certain curriculum tweaks and deal with interpersonal relationships among your team.
Whether you’re hosting a workshop, embarking on a major marketing blitz, need to raise more funds, or want to elevate your theatre program, On The Stage (OTS) can help. OTS empowers thousands of organizations with ticketing, box office, marketing, fundraising, and reporting tools in one robust platform – all for free. Not to mention, OTS offers registration tools that make it easy to host your workshops. If you want to get started or explore how OTS can empower your organization, book a personalized demo today.