Filed under: Meet The Company | Tags: becky hill, blind faith, comedy, Ghost Boy, madhatters, Theatre, Wishful Thinking
Who are you and what do you do?
Rebecca Hill or Madhatters Dance and Drama Academy
Tell us a bit more about the show you’re performing at Unity?
It’s a story of a group of friends at a festival, dealing with life i guess and the complexities that come with it like the lost hope, trust, breakdowns of relationships, it’s just a story and a journey of a group of friends where the dynamic has changed and how people react to this, it’s a show trying to make theatre for all backgrounds and ages dealing with issues we can all relate to, the show is aiming to make theatre contemporary, exciting and engaging.
They’ve been entertaining to say the least, is it sad to say they’ve been the highlight of my week, we ended up recording them because too much comedy was happening, but gossip wise we’ve had romances blossom LOL, a masterclass from Jo Hartley that was interesting to say the least (hence some of the one liners in the play) but talk about an inspirational woman, our rehearsals have just been a whole lot of fun if i’m being honest, i can’t really pick out any single moments but we did go to the beach for a rehearsal and have people stop and watch us as we rapped Empire State of Mind 😉 they were highly entertained and obviously thought we were Jay Z LOL
What’s the best thing about Unity?
The fact that there not afraid, they take a chance to put on theatre for different audiences, the unity is a theatre providing the opportunities for local people and new talent to do the thing they love and to do it well, The Unity unites people, creating a place where people have the chance to shine.
Best show you’ve seen at Unity?
I’m going to be biased and say Wishful Thinking 😉 but to be fair Christine Tremarco did say it was Inspiring and Nicky Alt called it Brilliant, so yeah Wishful Thinking because on the last night it did feel like electricity in the room, I’ll never forget that play
Best show you’ve seen elsewhere?
I’d have to say Ghost Boy because of it’s style, the lighting was incredible and Tachia Newall was amazing in it and came straight onto our play from it, i went to see that play twice and it still had me hooked- the beatboxer was was unreal
What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in theatre?
I don’t think i’m in any position to give advice on careers; but i just think it’s finding that thing you love and doing it as best you can, i think whatever career you want do, do it because you love it, because it inspires you, for me and writing i guess it’s about not being afraid and trusting what you do- be yourself, if you believe; sometimes it shines through
Filed under: Staff | Tags: arts, liverpool, marketing, rachael treacher, Theatre
I’m Rachael and I work as the Marketing and Press Officer for Unity Theatre. I’ve been in this role for about 3 years now, with the 3 years before that spent between Marketing and Box Office. In total I’ve worked here for 6 years!
What do I do?
The job itself is a very busy one – due to the turnover of shows we have on here at Unity – normally about 4 – 5 per week – each one a different genre from the next so if you can imagine the amount of marketing activity for one show and times that by 5! My role includes writing press releases, updating and adding content onto the website, using twitter and other social media forms, managing mail outs, attending meetings and communication with our audience and people who use the building!
I also make sure that my other members of my team are behaving themselves – I am the only girl in our department!
I’m the longest standing member of the team here which means I have the most past knowledge about shows and companies that have visited Unity. I’m not sure if this is always a good thing as it’s questions-a-plenty all the time!
How did you get into the job?
I applied for a part time position as a Ticket Office Assistant many moons ago after I’d finished my Degree. It’s very amusing because I actually didn’t get the job first time round but then the position became available again after a week or so and Unity were in desperate need of someone to start right away so I said yes. I’m not mentioning any names who didn’t employ me the first time round but he’s now the Marketing Manager at The Empire Theatre, Liverpool (now good friends!).
After working on the Ticket Office for about a year I became interested in Marketing. I took on extra roles in the marketing department such as distribution, organising mailings etc –I would throw my hand to anything! A position came up to cover the Marketing Assistant role so I snapped it up and I’ve been here ever since. Eeek!
What have you achieved since joining?
So much is the short answer! Not only have I learnt many things about Arts Marketing, but a huge amount about how arts organisations work. I’ve been here though the lead up to the Capital of Culture which was so exciting. There was such a buzz beforehand and during in the city. I got to experience many exciting shows, performance and events and be central and involved in it. I feel very privileged to have been a part of such a changing time to the city of Liverpool.
Not only have I achieved lots with the organisation, but on a personal level I’ve had the opportunity to take up different forms of training. I’ve completed the TMA Druidstones’ Essentials In Marketing course in 2009, been to various AMA conferences and Seminars, First Aid Courses and most recently I completed and NVQ Level 5 in Business Management. Unity have been very supportive in helping me in my own personal development- so thank you!
Best parts to the job?
One of the best parts of my job is given the opportunity to watch some amazing shows. Before starting at Unity I had limited theatrical knowledge (can I write that?). Another great part of the job is the opportunity to meet so many different people ranging from actors, community workers, workshop leaders, councillors, as well as many other Arts Marketing ‘folk’ from other organisations. You also get another 20 or so Christmas cards (if you’re lucky!!) which is great! I enjoy working with such a lovely bunch of people. We are like a little family here at Unity which I doubt it’s like in many other larger organisations.
Most difficult parts of the job?
I guess the long days – often when there is a press night you don’t leave the theatre until 11pm on some nights. The workload can be heavy sometimes but in the end the result of an audience makes it worth the efforts. The good points always outweigh the bad. I tend to be asked constantly by my friends ‘ when’s that play on?’ or ‘Are there any tickets left???’ In which case I reply – take a look at our website http://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk
Oh dear did I just end on that?
So Sam what are your day-to-day tasks at unity?
My day to day tasks vary massively, essentially I’m responsible for the overall communications of Unity Theatre, so everything from brochures, websites and e-mails to looking at organisational marketing strategy and budgeting. It’s a really challenging job but also incredibly fun. Most people imagine that Marketing and PR are really boring, but it’s increasingly less about marketing to an audience and instead looking at how we interact and provide our audience with a better, more enjoyable experience. We’re often at the centre of discussions within the organisation from an administrative perspective so it’s fast-moving, constant and pretty intense!
How long have you worked at unity?
I’m the new boy at the theatre having been here since June 2010! Previously I worked at York Theatre Royal as Marketing Officer and as Artistic Director for TakeOver ’09.
What have you enjoyed since working at unity?
It’s been great to come into an organisation at a point of development where, because of the cuts, we have had to look at all aspects of both our marketing but also the entire organisation. This creates great opportunity to define our focus, really find who we want to be and look to the future and think ambitiously about what we want to achieve. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some great productions, Gold Mountain as an international co-production with French Canadian company Les Deux Mondes creating bi-lingual print and a massive campaign but also For The Best which got amazing 5 star reviews and meant liaising with 8+ partners. I’m also really lucky to have a great team around me!
Is there anything you would change about unity or your job?
I’m not sure I’d change anything about Unity. I say that while having a Marketing strategy with 9 pages of things to achieve to make sure we’re the best theatre in Merseyside/North West/ Northern England/The World by the end of the plan.. I’m a little competitive and want us to be the best. It’s a job where the phrase ‘good enough’ should never be used. If anyone has any suggestions I’m always happy to listen (or indeed grab a coffee to talk them through)!
Check back soon where we’ll have another unity staff member talking about what they do at unity and what it means to them.
Filed under: Marketing Desk | Tags: arts, brochure, marketing, Theatre, unity
We’re heading into deepest darkest February and with the Spring season successfully underway, two sell-out shows under our belt and Arts Council National Portfolio applications completed we find ourselves changing our focus to all things brochure based!
Over the past 6 – 8 months we’ve been looking closely at our brochure and how we can make it better, more competitive, easier to read and perhaps even a little easier to find! After sending out a design brief two weeks ago we spent last week and Monday morning deliberating over some excellent tenders – all innovative, a little different and quirky in search of a design and style that will lead us through the next 2 years!
We’ve become epic advocates of extensive brochure research, (I have over 100 brochures above my desk, all annotated… Scary!) and some of our favourites have been Glasgow Tron, Harrogate Theatre, Bush Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre.
All this work has, of course, to have a point, and we’re embarking on period of change to move Unity from being Liverpool’s “hidden gem” to being a “shining visible diamond”. We want to retain our quirky, different, friendly feel but also look to find ways in which more people can have a great time at our theatre. We’re also looking to the future, questioning how we better interact with audience (increasingly digitally rather than in person), and how our brochure can help us with and to an extent enable that transition.
If there’s anything you’d like to see in our brochures then please let us know! What’s missing from our current edition? Does the map work? Do you want to know more about behind the scenes, or should we just keep it simple and not overload you? Would personal recommendations help? Do genre classifications help you?
In the next couple of week’s we’ll be sharing our progress for our brochure development so keep an eye on this space!
It’s Friday and as I find myself on the cusp of the weekend invariably I get distracted by some of our ambitions (as a marketing department…) for the next 12 months. There seems to be something about the end of the week, particularly late on a Friday which sends random ideas into my head and inevitably onto a piece of paper on my desk. However this week will be different, I thought it’d be interesting to share some of these ideas we have. I’m not sure how interesting they’ll be, after all the niche world of arts marketing isn’t particularly thrilling to everyone.. But here goes, some selected highlights!
- We want to develop our website more to make it easier to use but also combine our online and offline branding a little more. I want people to be able to comment on shows, add reviews and give us feedback, so enabling this in a more unified way will be swell.
- We want to make our box office system better, at the moment any special offers we do have to be conducted through the telephone or by wandering in.. Booking online with a discount code would be really great!
- We’d like to get our customers offers at other local venues, restaurants and shops. I’m not quite sure how we do this yet.. But it’s a nice ambition. I think it’d be great if you could make your entire evening out more value-filled and easier to book perhaps?
- More videos! I like finding out what’s on and having a sneak preview..
- Offering advice, secondments and perhaps even training to anyone in the arts who’d like some help..
- Cut down the amount of print we send out.. It’s a bit greener and saves the planet as well as is loads more cost effective. I also suspect (i’m not sure suspect.. but perhaps know) that the less time stuffing envelopes then the more time will be available to make our marketing more targeted and also more useful.
- Make sure that our pricing is as valueful (is that an invented word?) as possible? Making sure that anyone, regardless of wealth has access to high quality theatre.
- Develop more events: Thinking about workshops, acting for adults, yoga, writing classes, book groups.. We want to use our spaces more..
These are a selection of the ideas (the full list has over 60 points… nothing quite like ambition…) .. Tell me what you think…
Cheers and have a great weekend!
Have you seen Big Wow’s production of The Friendship Experiment?
Tell us what you think of the show by adding your reviews and comments below!
Filed under: Marketing Desk | Tags: arts, cake, Drama, marketing, Theatre, unity
Hello and welcome to the unitytheatre blog and particularly welcome to the first blog posted in the “Marketing Desk” category!
We wanted to find a way of being able to talk with you more easily in a more friendly, informal and maybe chatty way so we thought this could be the ideal forum to do this. But first to introductions: The Marketing Department consists of Sam (Marketing Manager, me…), Rachael (Marketing and Communications Officer), Paul (Marketing and Distribution Officer), Ged (Box Office Co-Ordinator) and an array of other staff who work regularly on our box office! We’ll explain what we all do at a later date!
This week we’ve just finalised our season brochure (check it out on our website) which will be hitting doorsteps in early January and has a huge amount of shows inside. We’ve been working to make our brochure easier to read and access over the last few months with a developed cleaner interior, shorter more concise copy, some colour coding and genre marking so you can get an idea of what all the shows are like. I found when I started at unitytheatre that I missed some shows which were fantastic because I wasn’t sure what they were about or why they’d be of interest to me, and some of the information hard to read and get excited about. Hopefully we should have sorted this a bit more: I can honestly say that there isn’t a single show in our new season I’m not interested in seeing! If you have any suggestions then please give them by commenting on this post!
In other exciting news this week (apart from our brilliant Christmas Show The Red Shoes and Terry Titter’s Christmas Caper) is the delivery of some beautiful cakes from the Camp Cupcake company from a theatre company we’ve helped out in London! Possibly the best cupcakes I have ever eaten… Highly recommended! Cakes will probably be mentioned regularly in this blog, we’re very much a cake-centric organisation, (is this common to all organisations?) the other obscure mention will be “The Drawer of Glee” which is not (as someone suggested) where we keep member of Glee locked up but is instead a drawer filled with an array of chocolate, sweets and other tasty delights…
So yes, here is our first blog entry, a little about marketing and a lot about cake.
Keep in touch and tell us what you think!