To keep ’em coming in the front, you should let them in the back.
I got an email from my high school English teacher last week asking if I could help a group of students she knew get a backstage tour at a Broadway show.
She didn’t ask me which show they should see or if I could help them score some tickets to Kinky Boots. She just wanted to know how to get them to see backstage. You know, “where the magic happens.”
I’m trying to help them out, of course, because I know what most of you already know, but it is worth blog-peating . . . allowing your audience to see how it all happens makes them even more interested in watching it all happen.
So this is one of those simple, duh-like, blogs that should just, um, happen.
Every single theater on Broadway . . . and dare I say, every single theater across the
country theater-loving world should offer a public backstage tour right with their orchestra tickets. That’s right, put it out in the open. Don’t make English teachers track down their former troublemaking students (oh, I caused some trouble in that English class – not lighting off firecrackers in the back row trouble, but (nerd alert) debates over the genius and sexuality of Ernest Hemingway type of trouble).
A simple back stage tour can do so much for every show/institution. It can:
- Generate interest in the show currently running.
- Generate revenue (yep, I’m saying charge for it, if you wanna).
- Give our “avids” something else to keep their interest.
- Allow the theater an up-close-and-personal chance to upsell things like a subscription, or solicit donations.
- And more.
I’m not sure what Broadway is waiting for. This should just be a thing already. We probably have some labor issue (that’s usually the problem with things that are oh so simple), but we should find a way around it, or find a way through it.
Because The Wizard of Oz was on to something. Seeing what goes on beyond the curtain is when the (marketing) magic really happens.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.