Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Managing a Theater With Online Tools


Erik Handberg, former manager of the Grand Cinema, decided in late 2006 to start up a small professional theater called "The Horatio Theater Company". I have since seen two of their productions and enjoyed both thoroughly. In particular I enjoyed "Molly Sweeny" as much for the venue as for the wonderful story and cast. It was moved to the Commencement Bay coffee company's back room when the building the Horatio theater was being built out in didn't work out. Eventually I want to see a permanent physical structure in place, but the quick shift to the new one worked out beautifully.

What does this have to do with the virtual world? Eric developed and has been running the theater through tools and services available over the web. One particularly helpful site has been www.brownpapertickets.com , a ticket purchasing and management site for theaters. As they put it "Brown Paper Tickets is a full-service ticketing and registration service. With more features and flexibility than even the largest ticketing companies, we deliver it all for free".

He also makes great use of email managing software for targeted promotions, marketing and communications. One of the things the Grand Cinema has going for it is a great community of members. Eric is repeating that feat with online communications tools.

The Horatio is a great example of how artists and the art community can leverage the reach and ease of use that web based tools and services can provide. I will likely be referencing them often.

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