Who: Kate McGill
From: Alacrity Productions
Could you describe your company and the work you perform?
We are an Auckland-based cross-disciplinary theatre and film company that is committed to growing the audience-performer relationship. We do this by creating and performing works that ask political or cultural questions.
An example of this was our recent verbatim production, Weave, which communicated issues of age, race, gender, culture and class from asking a question as simple as “What are New Zealanders like?”. The aim is to stimulate conversation – we encourage the audience to respond to the questions we ask.
What are the core values of your company?
At Alacrity Productions we believe in creating theatre with substance that invites the audience to grow in order to deepen understanding between communities.
It is our aim to develop a body of work that generously invites collaboration, creativity and mindfulness to transcend the traditional divides of politics, race and culture.
Communication and transparency sit behind everything we do from the making and delivery of work, to the business behind it, and of course the relationships that are crucial to Alacrity’s success.
How would you describe the profile of your (prospective) audience?
Our audience varies from production to production but in general it would comprise urban-dwelling 20 to 45-years olds who are politically and socially minded.
It is the inquisitive nature of the crowd that matters more to us than age or affluence.
We want to attract an audience that is curious, and fearless of engaging in the work and the questions it raises. It is important to us that the audience wants to engage beyond just coming to the show.
How do you currently engage your (prospective) audience?
Again this changes from show to show, but the key is defining the essence of a production and the target market it is seeking to communicate with.
We follow this up by creating a strategy to increase audience engagement using channels such as social media, promotional events and video and still imagery. You really do have to think outside the box in terms of execution and delivery. We have found a production coordinator and publicist to be invaluable during this process.
Who are your sponsorship partners and how did you select them?
We find partners on a project-led basis. It is important for there to be an alignment of values at the centre of all of our partnership, and we always ask three questions to establish common ground:
- What can we offer each other?
- Is there an opportunity for us both to engage the other in our respective businesses?
- What possible outcomes are there from forming this relationship and transaction?
We want our partners to be engaged in the work, so we will keep them updated on progress and invite them to a special showing for example.
But we also want there to be mutual benefits in terms of audience growth so we look for partnership where we deliver value to their business through marketing or branding activity and in return they can extend our audience via their network.
Testing ideas and collaborating on marketing strategies to connect audiences with what they want at the theatre is also important for us.
Could you describe the value shared and received beyond the dollars?
We see the best possible outcome as both partners reaching a new audience or exposing their audience to something new. For us this all comes back to fostering collaboration whether this is sharing ideas, skills or resources in order to deliver a show with the greatest integrity.
This sharing process is much more likely to lead to a fine-tuned production as well as a fine-tuned relationship from which both parties can benefit through increased engagement and exposure.