How to Promote a Local Theater Production. Theater requires collaboration. While the audience watches the actors and sees the designers' work, the promotion staff remains behind the scenes working to bring in the audiences. As a promoter, start creating the advertising for your production around the time of auditions for the show. It takes 4 to 6 weeks and sometimes longer to accomplish everything. Good promotion equals larger audiences, creating long-term patronage for your theater company.
Design an eye-catching flier. Use bright colors that attract attention and place them all around the community. Place them around local attractions including libraries, supermarkets, malls, college campuses and other high traffic areas.
Contact local radio and television stations. Most stations air shows that highlight events in the community. If the station runs an interview, ask the director or lead actors to do the interview.
Ask local businesses to sponsor the show. Promise to include advertising for that business in the playbill's "Special Thanks." If the business has a marquee, ask them to advertise the production on their marquee.
Advertise in the local paper. Many papers publish preview articles and reviews of local theater productions.
Give free tickets to sponsors and the media. Many of those sponsors give the tickets to employees and radio and television stations will give them away to their audience. This helps to build audiences for future shows.
Generate word of mouth advertising. Ask the cast to tell family and friends about the production. Announce the production wherever you can--at work, at school, at church. Many people attend local productions because they know someone in the cast.
Create honest advertising. Don't mislead your audience about content. Warn the audience when the material isn't suitable for all audiences and let them know why.
If you're a new theater group, create a newsletter and web page which includes information about productions, auditions and work days. Remember to advertise your sponsors in these newsletters. Consider a "free night" promotion if the production runs for several weeks.