|Taking pictures of Katie for the poster. (L to R Jenn, Katie, John, Brook). Photo by Kimber Graham.|
Theatre is about art! Theatre is about character and empathy and humanity!
... Which is great and all, but part of putting on a production is getting people to actually show up and see the thing. Because theatre doesn't happen without you. "Interactive" has taken on a different meaning in the digital age, so when you say theatre is "interactive" people look at you funny. With the exception of some divised theatre productions (like Beertown recently at RLT) most people don't think of theatre as "interactive." But it is. There's a magic, an alcemey, an energy that an audience brings that breathes life into a performance. It's not just the audience reaction, the laughs and gasps and claps, but the sharing of space and time and story. After all, there's a word for a theatrical performance without an audience - rehearsal.
So, we have to get YOU to show up. To that end, we shot the poster for Blackbird today. Jennifer is our graphic designer. She designed the image you see at the top of this page, the show logo, and soon the poster. Having a great graphic designer is so key. We are indebted to Daniel McCord for our first few shows, and now Jennifer Sanderson (Hughie and now Blackbird).
I think, for theatre artists, the business side can often feel cheap and tawdry. I think there is an impulse to feel like "we're artists, we do this for the sake of art, not for money." And trust me, to some extent that's true (I'd be surprised if this play broke even). There's an element of self-promotion to marketing that feels alien to actors. It feels some how improperly self-aggrandizing. But marketing IS important. And truthfully, it is incredibly creative as well. Seeing Jennifer work has been a real pleasure. There is a real skill in understanding the play, the mood and the characters, and turning that into an image and a font. It sounds weird, but that's literally her job. You want the images and the feel of the marketing to match the show. You don't want your audience to come in expecting a comedy and then hit them with something totally different:
And you want it to be compelling. You want the people who respond to the image to understand what they are getting in a general sense, and to be the right audience. I think that is what we will get.
But I suppose that's ultimately for you to judge.
Want to get involved and support this show? Join the Kickstarter here!