Milwaukee Chamber Theatre
Milwaukee Theater Invites Fans to Meet in Special Tweet Seats
To build new audiences for its Spring 2011 production of the Lion in Winter, the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCB) reached out to Twitter mavens with strong online followings, creating a designated section in its three level proscenium theater where tweeting throughout the performance was encouraged. Originally worried about distracting other members of the audience, the company experimented with a special “tweet seats” area reserved for 15-18 tweeters.
The company found the new online activity was worth providing complementary “Tweet Seats” to strong Tweeters, reporting that resulting awareness and buzz about the show have justified the investment. This Tweet Seats section has become a draw for tweeters who often bring friends, new to theater going. For each performance, the company takes the first 18 tweeters who sign up and continues to recruit new candidates with strong followings to encourage attendance.
This real time reviewing has helped MCB to relate to potential new audiences. Monitoring the twitter feeds during performances has allowed the MCB to take advantage of spontaneous events to alert fans on Facebook to the dynamic “only in live theater” experiences.
The Milwaukee Chamber Theatre has a strong Facebook presence and began using QR codes in the 2011-2012 brochure. Codes are included on each show page and link to preview video and behind the scenes information about each production. QR codes are also used on promotional postcards to build awareness of upcoming shows. Video features scenes enacted at the annual season announcement party or interviews with the company’s artistic director or visiting guest directors.
Quote: “Our producing artistic director, Michael Wright, was concerned about annoying traditional audiences with disruptive Twitter action during performances but after we closed off a special Twitter section in the gallery, he was open to trying Tweet Seats to reach new audiences. Our ongoing challenge is to make time to respond to all the positive comments we receive.”
- Integration of Tweet Seats into ongoing performances
- Identification of Twitter mavens with strong enough followings to make complimentary seats worth it
- Monitoring and responding to comments in the Twitter-verse