THE GOAL: Build a business model for Independent Australian Theatre that can thrive without funding.
(Though we’d never say no to grants)
The idea, find cheap venues all over the suburbs of Melbourne where new plays could be staged cheaply with or WITHOUT grants. If the play fails they don’t leave the theatre company with a massive debt, if the play works the company can travel it to the next suburb, and so on, improving the piece as they go until it becomes a polished product of entertainment with a following and a truckload of marketing images and videos and hopefully reviews. With luck, the best of these well-crafted pieces will not only be ready for the bigger theatres of Melbourne but the World.
Other benefits, keeping production cheap means it’s possible to pay your actors and tech equity rates with only a few bums on seats. If the play starts filling up you can offer your actors more while still making some money for the company.
As word gets around that is possible to make some money from new theatre hopefully that creature we are sorely missing, indy theatre producers will return.
Fact: people don’t lie travelling more than ten ks to see new theatre, meaning if the venues are spaced that far apart there should be enough audiences for everyone.
Suggestions: Embrace the most important person, the audience member who’s paying to come. Let them take pictures with their phone while the performance is on in order that they have something unique to post to social media.
Advise them that the piece is new and listen to their thoughts. Australians are great storytellers. If they suggest something you use, place their name in the credits.
Use online programs accessed via Qr codes, and allow other companies in the circuit to market within that program. Also, the program allows a space to post an instant review.
Try to keep plays to four actors an under so you can fit it into smaller venues and have a better chance of making money from your art.
Don’t be precious and snobby, we are all one tribe, let’s work together and forge a new industry and a new culture, in which actors, writers, directors, techs etc can be paid.
The Wolves Theatre Company are starting with two pieces:
Marooned: which has been forged through this process, will be on at The Palace Hotel in Camberwell on Dec 4.
Adrifting Through The Vomit Generation is our new play and will start in The Kew Courthouse Theatre. We are doing a short preview season of this to end the year then if it works we will use it to forge the circuit in 2020.
An incubator concept for new theatre
Michael Gray Griffith, Rohana, John Michael Pacholli