Theatre management refers to the task of running a commercial or public theater organization. A theatre manager, also known as a general manager, director, or planner, is the overall administrator of a theatre. They most often have the duties of either an artistic director but generally supervise all artistic, planning, production, and finance functions of the theatre. Their duties may also include the scheduling of actors and actresses, the direction of the plays, and selecting and supervising the lighting design and sound system.
A theatre management system is an integrated system that is used to manage the day to day operations of the theatre. It usually consists of several components such as an accounting software program and reporting modules. This information is then fed into a mainframe computer that stores and retrieves all the data in a concise and organized format. The computer can be connected to a printer for printing reports or to an electronic display for presenting data in a format the audience can understand.
Most people who have worked in a commercial theatre or on a performing arts organization know how difficult it is to plan a successful theatre promotion campaign. The success or failure of this campaign depends on many factors such as the type of the play, the number of times the play has been seen, the demographics of the audience, as well as the financial success or failure of the production. These factors can greatly impact the overall success or failure of the promotional campaign. For example, if the play is popular with the young audience, it will require a different approach to marketing compared to a play aimed at an older audience. The theatre manager must therefore have a thorough knowledge of the demographics of the target audience so he or she can create a campaign that will attract the correct type of audience. This requires comprehensive analysis and research as well as an understanding of the cultural preferences of the target audience.
Many theatre managers have to use innovative ways to attract new theatre audiences. One of these ways is to advertise theatre shows during high school proms or for students at their graduation from secondary school. Many high school students and their parents may be interested in attending the theatre. Such a promotion may be successful if the theatre manager knows where the parents or students are located.
Promoting a play is a more involved process than just throwing a brochure into the advertising section of the local newspaper. Theatre managers often have to put in a lot of time and effort to find the right venue for the play. The theatre manager has to look at a variety of factors before choosing the venue. For example, the play is often offered at a discounted price to theatres during the week of the proms or for students graduating from secondary school. Another way to get many people interested in a play is by offering tickets for sale to the play at various events, including concerts, musicals, dinner theaters and other special events. These tickets can be offered at much lower prices than the regular prices.
The theatre manager also has to think about how the play will affect the audience. Will the play be educational for parents and others? Does it provide information about something that the audience does not know or need to know about? Is the play an updated version of something that happened in history? All of these considerations have to be made by the theatre manager before deciding which shows should be offered at different times of the year.