by Gavin Barlow and Annabel Turpin 6 June 2013 Guardian Professional
Two arts venues 200 miles apart explain why their audiences play a bigger part in the creative process than bums on seats.
Lyn Gardner has called for theatres to open up a new dialogue with audiences in her recent Guardian blog, placing them at the heart of the creative process. Without this genuine transformation in the way theatres view audiences, she predicts a decline in regional theatre on a par with that of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
For some organisations, this transformation has already begun. The Albany in Deptford and ARC in Stockton on Tees, both cross-artform venues, have independently arrived at a similar approach to involving audiences in the creation of their programmes.
The two organisations serve very different demographics, but both began their transformation from similar bases: a strong sense of local identity, but relatively low box office income. Without funding to produce their own work, there was a dependence on buying in work produced elsewhere. These conditions contributed to a change in approach that looked at audiences in a different way. Read More
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Tammy Hampel (Isaacson)
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