By Desiree Pedrami
I recently ran my first marathon and as a theatre professional/geek/fanatic I could not help but think how similar my marathon experience was to the experience of seeing a play.
The thing that struck me the most about running a marathon was everyone was affecting each other’s experience just like every audience and cast member affects the overall experience of a theater production. Everyone’s journey to the start line was different yet everything from my fellow runners, to the one million spectators, to the thousands of volunteers, made the race feel like a community and a one of a kind race experience.
Like different road races, each performance is completely unique and everything from an unexpected laugh or a missed cue can make the performance go a different way.
As a marketing professional at New Rep Theatre, I love thinking about ways to further connect patrons to a production and the artists. I don’t want to just market a show; I am after deeper audience engagement and connection to the art. Whether it’s through a facebook posting, a tweet, a podcast, or posting pictures of a set being built, I want audience members to connect on a deeper level to what they will see on the New Rep stage.
As a theater patron, once the house lights go back up all I want to do is talk about the journey I went on with anyone in sight! I love engaging with audience members and actors after a show, but one of my favorite things about live theater is talking about the show with the people closest to me. I love sharing a live performance with a friend because that experience then becomes a part of our relationship.
The shared experience at the theatre goes even deeper as I become more connected to the Boston theatre community. Knowing the process everyone went through to get to the final product makes my theatre experience richer and more thought provoking. One of my favorite things about my job at New Rep is connecting our patrons to the process of theatre so they too can have a well rounded theatrical experience!
I think the Boston theatre community is accessible to patrons, and I think we are all moving in the direction to make the arts more transparent for theatergoers. We are trying to allow patrons to experience theatre in a deeper and more profound way by making the shared experience a part of their life routine. I am excited about what is going on in this city, and I am so excited to see how we are going to continue to grow together as a community. Marathon runners have a shared goal to cross the finish line, and Boston theatre companies, administrators, and artists also have a shared goal— to make Boston a more vibrant and engaging theatre community one theatre experience at a time.
Desiree Pedrami received her BBA in Arts and Entertainment Marketing at Baylor University. She is the Marketing & Group Sales Associate at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown.