As the Shadow Marketing Assistant for the Lincoln Young Company, my main responsibility is to ensure that the company and their work is promoted. The company is currently in rehearsals for Eclipse by Simon Armitage which is being performed as part of National Theatre Connections, hence it feels like there’s just that little bit more at stake.
This is because although it’s the fourth year Lincoln Young Company has taken part in National Theatre Connections, this is the first year we’ll be performing three times at our home theatre, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, and the first year we’ll be visiting the Leicester Curve. Added to this, the possibility of performing at the National Theatre in London, and it really feels like the pressure is on.
So this year we need to bring in more audiences than ever before. As a means of doing this, the Lincoln Young Company marketing team operate several social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As a company mainly consisting of university level students, the majority of our audiences have usually been made up of students; for Lincoln Young Company’s last performance, Drama Baby, roughly 92% of the audience were under 26. Young people today are often referred to as the digital generation, and therefore social media is one of the most effective ways of promoting our company.
In addition to managing the company’s social media profile, I also aid the marketing team with design. We’re in the process of creating individual images of each character’s silhouette as if they are blocking the sun. An image of a literal eclipse will probably be used by half the other companies taking part in National Theatre Connections, and it’s the marketing team’s job to ensure Lincoln Young Company’s print stands out before anyone’s even seen the show. Also, the simplicity of our image choice means that we’ll be able to collate the individual images to create a mass poster – echoing the style of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych. Hopefully something so colourful will capture the imagination of an even younger audience since we’re going to be targeting new potential audiences this year beginning with schools.
Armitage has been featured heavily on the school curriculum for several years and we therefore feel that the unique selling point of this particular show will be its educational aspect. We’re hoping to create a School Pack not only to make local schools aware of the show, but in the hope that it can be used as a creative and engaging aid to their teaching. I loved school theatre trips, they were a fun opportunity to get out of the school with your mates, but it was also so much easier to understand a play text once you’d seen it performed. Armitage is best known for his poetry, and Eclipse is full of whimsical rhymes and cryptic verses – our cast have admittedly been struggling with both learning their lines, as well as discovering the wealth of subtext Armitage has hidden in them. But we’re hoping that by March, all the English students in the audience will feel like they’re watching poetry in motion.
Finally, my other main responsibility is to create content for Lincoln Young Company’s website in conjunction with the Marketing Manager and Website Designer. Following on from my earlier point about the important of digital engagement with our target audience, the website is important as it will probably be the first port of call for anyone looking for more information about the company and its performances. Content plans include a blog which will include posts from the actors and crew giving the public an idea of what they can expect, as well as an opportunity to follow our progress from Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, to Leicester Curve and hopefully the National Theatre London.
Overall, the process of shadowing the Marketing Manager is a rewarding fantastic opportunity to prepare myself for life after my degree with a professional company, and I hope readers are as excited as to see the show as I am.
Eclipse is playing at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre from 8-10 March. Eclipse will then be performed at the Curve Theatre Leicester in May 2016, dates TBC.
Adam Newton-Bennett is a passionate theatre writer, currently studying for his BA (Hons) Drama degree at the University of Lincoln. Alongside his degree, he consistently takes part in writing and performing in different productions around the Lincolnshire area.