Posts Tagged ‘Cape Town’

I read a blog post the other day commenting on the struggle to successfully market theatre productions by theatre some theatre makers in Cape Town. The solution to this problem would be to let theatre-makers make theatre, and let arts managers do the rest.

In the Cape Town theatre industry, and this probably echoes worldwide, what theatre productions need, are arts managers. An arts manager is a company director, the person who runs the production like a business. An arts manager is not a producer who has input into the type of show the business must make. A producer might tend towards more commercial products and comprise the integrity of the artistic vision.  An arts manager is a master problem-solver.  An arts manager creates an environment for the artist to excel in, while putting all the business factors into place.

This is not to say that a director is incapable of doing all of it himself, but with time escaping us all the time, the director is at risk of doing a half-arsed job, resulting in poorly thought out and a half-executed marketing campaign.

The argument against having a someone else manage the business side of the work is that there is no budget for it. But then, is there ever budget for anything? Shows without budget operate on the currency of their network. Why should that network, which yields stage-managers, actors and writers hoping for a cut of the door, not also include a marketing manager / publicist who will only increase the number of bums on seats?

It doesn’t matter if you are the worlds best theatre-maker if no one knows about you.. does it?

Delegating and communicating

A healthy relationship between the creative and the manager ensures that the directors vision is in tact and the excited audiences know what they’re in for.

For FTH:K, Rob is the artistic director and is in the process of rehearsing OfficeBLOCK. Rob has been with the company for 6 years, and has done time as an arts manager. He understands what the job entails and so communicates his ideas with the company director, the publicist and online marketing manager who currently make up the arts management team.

This frees the creative team, the director, actors, stage manager and designer to focus on the development of their project while the administration, funding and management of the brand is run by the   arts management team.

Conceptually, OfficeBLOCK is about  “The beauty of invisible things”  which fires off a whole stream of ideas from the depths of the imagination. But it doesn’t tell the audience enough about the show. At least not in relationship to the name of the piece. In a meeting between the creative team and the arts management team, “Business as Usual” was chosen as the catch phrase.

OutcomesOBweb?

FTH:K

The cutting edge, award-winning company known for it’s non-verbal visual theatre work with pieces such as Benchmarks, QUACK!,  Pictures of You, and Womb Tide.

Presents: OfficeBLOCK

The name of the show and visual typography clues

Business as Usual

 The catch phrase to incite the question: what magic comes of a company like FTH:K exploring the office block? Find out

at the Intimate Theatre this November 15th – 19th.

Contact Angela at the Office for details.

This post is part of what the company stands for in terms of arts management. Using our current show as an example is a way of educating and marketing our show. Rings back to the old sales ABC (Always Be Closing), always be talking about your show.

It’s great that there are people out there who are tired of the poorly executed marketing campaigns out there, to them we raise our glasses, be it tequila, brandy and coke, or a cuppa tea and salute them. We, FTH:K join you in the the war against unprofessional approaches to theatre and celebrate the arrival of arts management.

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Non – Verbal  101.

“Peace!”

or

“V for Victory”

“Well done!”

or

“Can I get a ride?”

or

“Let the gladiator live”

Your mother.

One day, Oke and China were chatting.

“Howzit bru, check, you must come check this show, Benchmarks, at Out the Box Festival on the 8th and 9th of September, it’s this non-verbal.. “

“Non-verbal?”

“Ya, they don’t use words.”

“Ag no man, “

“Just listen, Benchmarks is”

“Benchmarks? I’ll out bench you and your man-sister.”

“Not that kind bench man, and my sister will moer you. “

“Did she say something about me?”

“No man, why?”

“Just asking”

“So ya, this the new show from FTH:K, was on the National Arts Main Programme, which means they are like the kak of theatre.”

“The kak?”

“Like the shit but..”

“Die kak.”

“KKNK thing. “

“Righto. With you.”

“Anyway, they do non-verbal visual theatre, each of the performers wears these flippin’ amazing masks”

 “Wait, wait, wait, go back what is ‘non-verbal’?”

“Yeah, something about hearing with your eyes,”

“Hearing with your eyes? No man. Is this this new girlfriend of yours, making you watch this poefde stuff.”

“Poefde? Who you calling a poefde?”

You used to hate art man

“Yeah but this was like.. you know, cool. (PAUSE) They do this fokking funny thing with Single Ladies ey, you will laugh.”

“Hahaha, that’s what you used to do, funny things to single ladies, before you met that culture-vulture woman of yours,  turning you into a poefde. I’d rather date your sister than your lady.”

“Hey china, I’m warning you,

Poefde is a offensive term.”

“AN Offensive term.

What?”

“You know I hate it when you correct me”

“Okay, okay man, what about this non-word-al”

“Non-verbal. They make all their shows so that they be heard by the Deaf okes and people that can hear.”

“The Deaf can’t hear you poephol.”

“It’s simile, no, a metaphor, like, like..”

“Tata Ma’Chance Tata Ma Millions”

“Isn’t that the Lotto slogan? Is that also a metaphor?”

(PAUSE)

“Similar, similar”

“Similar ya no def.”

(PAUSE)

“So yah Benchmarks ey… it’s about these 3 people, a oke at Home Affairs, a beautiful old lady and this refugee, all misplaced, all in masks, all looking for…”

“So now do they use sign-language?”

“No.. it’s non-verbal…”

“Fok man, what do you mean non-verbal?”

“Listen with your eyes bru, like check:”

“Listen with your eyes. So you going to come?”

“Ya no cool, flip, hundreds, but ya so, can your sister come?

The Great Falls - France & SA rideYesterday I joined (was roped into) a ridiculously long, off-road bike ride from Georgetown to see The Great Falls of the Potomac River some 17 miles away.  We’re talking a round trip of more than 50 kms!!  (This morning I have discovered pain in parts of me that I did not even know I had.)  The ride there was actually really nice.  We followed the Patowmack Canal (why this is spelt differently, I’m not sure) and the The Great Falls - stopping for waterPotomac River to the Great Falls Park and it was great to get out of the city a little, be surrounded by green, and be mesmerised by the chaotic system a turtle uses to navigate the water.  However, when we got to The Great Falls, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed.  The “Great” Falls??  I don’t think so.  The Modest Falls, perhaps.  Or The Great Rapids.  But not The “Great” Falls, surely?!  I dunno.  You decide.

The Great Falls The Great Falls 2

The Great Falls & Tink Perhaps I’m just being patriotic.  After all, SA is well-known for its beautiful waterfalls.  (And just to put it in perspective, click here and scroll down to go to a series of photos of some of the Falls we have in SA.)  Ok, ok, I know that I should not compare 1 example of Falls in a single State to a collection of Falls across a whole country but, hey, I’m the one writing this blog so technically, I can do anything!

Cape Town is having falls of its very own at the moment, but not in the way we would like.  In fact, it seems that this is going to be a recurring summer-winter contradiction in climate during my stays in DC.  Here, it’s sunny.  And hot.  And humid.  In Cape Town, it’s dark, cold and rainy.  The only similarity is that both are sporting a fair amount of water, just in different ways.  So, it feels strange to be looking at pictures of the flooding (again) in Cape Town while the sun streams in from my DC windows, and I am reminded that this Fellowship and my time in DC is a lot like a sabbatical – a step out of the daily grind to learn new things, absorb new ideas, breathe differently, so that one can return to that grind renewed and alive.  It’s a different world here in DC, not only culturally, geographically, or because of the work I am doing, but it couldn’t be more different to Cape Town at this time of year!  Don’t believe me?  I can tell you that DC looks in no way like this:

CT flooding 3 CT flooding 7 CT flooding CT flooding 5 CT flooding 13 CT flooding 9 CT flooding 6

So, now, you tell me who has the “greatest” falls?!