Looking for Theatre Missionaries


{Header image by kabaldesch0 and used courtesy Creative Commons Public Domain license, via Pixabay.}

Note: as of March 2011, this article will be published in the April 2011 issue of KC Stage Magazine (link no longer active).

KC Stage is looking for people who are passionate about theatre, who are eager to spread the word about the wonders of the performing arts to those who do not attend it regularly (or, for that matter, at all).

What will these missionaries be doing? We’re looking for people to join this year’s task force for the Free Night of Theater program. Started in 2005 by the Theatre Communications Group, with over 150 companies in Austin, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, with almost 8,000 attendees participating, viewing over 120 performances. Of those trying a new theatre in 2005, 29% returned and purchased tickets, and 3% of those purchased a subscription to that theatre.

The program has grown each year, and Kansas City was a participant starting in 2007. In that year, according to TCG, 398 participating theatre companies presented more than 600 performances offering more than 30,000 tickets. Of the people who participated, 41% returned to that theatre; 80% have gone to a theatre since the free night, including 38% of those who were labeled as someone who attends theatre infrequently (two times or less).

Kansas City did not participate in 2010, and we at KC Stage realized we are in a unique position. With the over 200 organizations that are registered with us, Kansas City could easily become the biggest participator in Free Night of Theater, introducing new theatre-goers to the thrill and passion of live performing arts. This is especially needed in today’s economic times, where too many people think the performing arts are ‘just a luxury’ that can be dropped and cut from government budgets and their own entertainment choices.

But in order to pull off participating in Free Night of Theater for this October, we need the help of dedicated, passionate people who are willing to donate time to help connect to potential participating theatres, resources toward getting partners in business and the media to help spread the word of the program, and ideas as to how best get the word out to the right audiences.

If you would like to help coordinate the Free Night of Theater for 2011, or if you are in an organization that would like more information on how to participate in Free Night of Theater, please send me an e-mail at afiedler@kcstage.com or call us at 816-23-STAGE.

We realize everyone’s time is valuable, and want to make sure your involvement is as effective as possible, and would benefit from any time you’re willing to share, from twenty minutes to twenty hours. We have a short volunteer survey HERE {note: link no longer active} so you can help us use your talents and time the most effective way possible.

We’re hoping to set up a meeting in April, and are currently looking at places to host. Let us know if you have any other questions. For more information on Free Night of Theater, including stats from prior years, visit the Theatre Communications Group’s website.

  • Jen

    I think that sounds awesome! Tell me more this weekend.