Celebrating Theatre via Social Media
#LoveTheatreDay is the annual celebration of theatre that takes place on social media, and this year it happened on Wednesday 15th November.
For me it is one of the highlights of the year, it is a celebration of all things theatre and an opportunity to celebrate theatre, open doors to parts of the theatre world that are not often seen, ask questions, share highlights and so much more.
The day is organised by Mar Dixon (@mardixon) in conjunction with The Stage, and the Twitter handle for the day was @LoveTheatreDay / #LoveTheatreDay, with over 600 venues, companies and artists from across the world taking part. The day was split into three sections: the first was #Backstage (10am – 12pm), the second was #AskATheatre (3pm – 5pm) and finally #Showtime (7pm – 10pm)
At the Wyvern Theatre we used the #Backstage segment to share a time-lapse video from our Summer Youth Project, photos of the construction of our building from 1971 courtesy of Local Studies Swindon and asked members of the team to share why they enjoy working in a theatre. Elsewhere online other venues shared really interesting backstage nuggets. The Royal Shakespeare Company shared a backstage view of the get-in for Coriolanus at The Barbican, The Bristol Old Vic put together a short video of items from their heritage department and Northern Stage took us backstage to look at their wardrobe. London’s newest theatre, The Bridge, showed us the view from their control room.
As the day progressed and we got into the afternoon, it was time to #AskATheatre, an opportunity to direct questions to creatives, artists’ management, trustees… questions about the things that you’ve always wanted to know about theatre. At the Wyvern we held a live Q & A with our theatre director Derek Alridge, our theatre manager Elly Stimpson-Duffy and our deputy technical manager David Jell. We found out how shows got programmed, what a typical day is like, future trends to look out for and essential skills needed to work in theatre. Dance company Sadler’s Wells’ artistic director Eva Martinez was taking questions too, including on how the company find new choreographers and dance talent, and the advice she would give to people who want to get into programming. The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield was asked: ‘why theatre over other industries?’. The #AskATheatre segment really allowed audiences and venues to come together and ask questions which give more of an insight into the workings of theatre, what a typical day is like and how to get into the industry.
The final portion of the day was all about #Showtime, capturing the build-up to and the seeing of a live performance, the very essence of theatre. London’s Old Vic Theatre captured the essence of performing with a delightful offstage shot. Harrogate Theatres shared an image illustrating the art of the trap door. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience posted a video showing the many different skills required to be a touring actor in their video.
#LoveTheatreDay is a special day celebrating the unique world of theatre, it is an opportunity to showcase the incredible world we work in with our audiences and the wider world. #LoveTheatreDay has been happening since 2014 and long may it continue as a fixture of the theatre year.
Marcus is the Marketing & Promotions Assistant at the Wyvern Theatre & Arts Centre in Swindon; he is also a trustee of Prime Theatre, who are a theatre company which specialise in theatre for children and young people.
Marcus is interested in how theatre organisations and companies use and incorporate digital technologies such as social media, live streaming, video documentation, projection, and mobile applications into their artistic output and company policies.