This December, the citizens of Bel Air, MD, were able to get their fill of drama, thanks to BOOM Theatre Co. and their production of The Seagull.
According to Ryan Nicotra, company director of BOOM Theatre Co., the vice-chair of Harford County Cultural Arts Board and the arts correspondent of Harford’s Heart Magazine, BOOM Theatre Co. is aiming to bring theatre to the area. “BOOM Theatre Co. is an emerging theatre company based in Bel Air, MD. We focus on producing challenging, engaging, and important dramatic works. Our organization looks to give a new life to the classics and introduce new works to our region,” he said.
The production of The Seagull was a huge undertaking for the company. “The Seagull is a dramatic masterpiece, penned by Anton Chekhov. This drama is considered to be ‘the big bang’ in modern theatre, in many ways,” said Nicotra. “We produced this play in the round, having the audience sit on all four sides of our actors. This is without-a-doubt our most challenging production to date, and we couldn’t be more excited to put this out for the world to see.”
Nicotra went into detail about the types of challenges BOOM Theatre Co. had to face. “A major challenge for US theatre companies is competition with digital media. Many people in their twenties haven’t seen a play since their childhood, so it’s our responsibility to reach out and bring them back to the audience,” he said. “We cast a wide net: tons of online and social media engagement, formal press releases to all of the local papers and news sources, and booked a number of speaking engagements at local high schools and colleges to introduce the play. It worked: the vast majority of our audience was under the age of 30, and in our post-show surveys, we found that they were more excited about this play than their older audience members.”
Nicotra said they were able to easily give their patrons a link to the event to buy tickets. “With TicketRiver, we were able to link our guests directly to the event online,” he said. “I won’t use a service that takes longer than five seconds for guests to figure out: if they have to work to buy tickets, I’m not interested. We found that everything worked smoothly, and many of our guests chose to make an extra donation through the website.”
The performance was a huge success, with some welcome surprises. “One guest told me that this was one of the greatest plays they’ve seen performed; another said she was interested in purchasing a season subscription after the performance,” said Nicotra. “We are on par to meet our ticket sales goal.”
The event also had tons of online participation, according to Nicotra. “I did not anticipate that so many people would purchase tickets online, so I was a little worried when we didn’t sell too many tickets at the door. We still had walk-ins, but many of our guests opted to purchase tickets online.”
For people who are interested in promoting their own event, Nicotra said serious promoting is the thing you’ll have to do. “The software is easy to use, but it can only be effective if you promote the event on your website, Facebook, Twitter, and mailing lists,” he said.
Also, utilize early-ticket sales to help with your event, if you have the luxury. “We were able to take advantage of early ticket sales to cover last-minute expenses for the production. We’ve never been able to do that before,” said Nicotra.
If you want to learn more about BOOM Theatre Co. make sure to visit their official website. You can also learn more about Nicotra’s other interests, Harford County Cultural Arts Board and Harford’s Heart Magazine by clicking here and here.