Actors are often told to pursue classes for the entirety of their career. That said, actors need access to classes, which is why we want to focus on the benefits of hosting theatre workshops and lessons in your company. There are plenty of benefits to producing classes through your organization: exposure, professional relationships, and of course, additional revenue. You also provide a safe space for artists to continue expanding their work and encourage the growth of your artistic community.
Classes provide a place for actors in your area to continue their talent coaching – performers can experiment with new material and practice their skills in front of an audience. Actors choosing to register for a class in your company are trusting that you can offer a new experience for them to learn – prioritize the content offered in these classes. There may be some trial and error in the beginning, but it’s better to make the effort and show your community that you’re invested in the growth of young artists. Try a few kinds of workshops – musical theatre history, dance classes, vocal health lessons, Shakespeare tutorials, etc. See what grabs the attention of potential students. (If you’re unsure of the logistics on getting or wish to automate class registration, TicketPeak offers a class registration feature!)
Offering classes can boost your theatre’s exposure. New students may choose to audition for your next season and encourage their friends to do the same. Parents of younger actors will see the space, and likely your marketing materials, and consider attending your productions. The teachers you bring in will use your name to encourage students to register, spreading the word of what you offer. Make sure your classes’ quality is something to be proud of, so the exposure you’re getting is productive.
Build Relationships with Professionals
Teachers are a crucial part of offering workshops and classes to your arts community. By giving students an opportunity to work closely with professionals they may not otherwise meet, you increase your chances of improving your reputation. If you’re associated with well-respected industry professionals, you strengthen the validity of your classes’ content. After a class, you may want to bring that teacher back to direct or choreograph one of your season’s productions, thus expanding your artistic network and the quality of your shows. Make sure you have students enrolled, though, so a teacher doesn’t prep for an underpopulated class – here are a few tips to increase your registration numbers.
Arguably, the best benefit of hosting classes and workshops in your theatre space is the opportunity to strengthen the community around your organization. Theatre is about coexistence, so providing a safe space for actors to continue their work is a wonderful way to incite educational connection. You have the opportunity to connect students to mentors and teach your community about the importance of supporting arts programs. The organizational pieces are entirely up to you – consider a one-time workshop intensive or schedule a recurring class for a limited number of weeks. Start small and see what works well in your area – do people gravitate towards dance classes or singing lessons? You can always extend classes or offer them seasonally. The summers are a great time to offer new classes because students are out of school and need somewhere to keep working on what they love. Try new things, invite all kinds of teachers, and see what works best for your talent pool. Set your intentions on meaningful, educational connections and you’ll be doing a great service for your artistic community.