SOR 002: Ken Klingenmeier

Ken Klingenmeier

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Actor, director, and theatre blogger, Ken Klingenmeier was kind enough to talk with me about some of his observations about theatre marketing. I met Ken a few years ago, and he is one of the people I tapped for input when I first started putting together Reaching a New Audience.

I mention at the beginning of this podcast that Sold Out Run is undergoing a redesign. Between recording this episode and posting it, the new design launched. I describe the feature allowing you to ask questions in the new design – just change all the verb tenses as you listen. Instead of thinking of it as a feature that will be available soon, think of it as a feature that is available right now.

I was reminded in this conversation with Ken how fuzzy the definition of marketing really is. When Ken is directing a show, he said that he doesn’t allocate much of his focus to promoting the show. As the conversation goes on, he reveals that he is blogging about the show and sending out emails about it. I have the impression that he doesn’t really feel like that’s marketing. Maybe that’s because it isn’t a broad comprehensive marketing strategy to promote the show across every channel, but I certainly believe that those are extremely valuable marketing activities. Just goes to show what a nebulous term marketing really is.

In this episode:

  • What’s happened to printed posters – Ken talks about why he wouldn’t spend money on posters anymore, and what he focuses on instead.
  • The marketing responsibilities of a director – What does the producer/theatre handle? And what promotional responsibilities a director can or should tackle.
  • What makes a box office hit – What are the variables in the marketing or the material itself that play a big part in making a show a financial success.
  • Why Ken considers himself immune to marketing – and why he still thinks it’s important.

Items mentioned:

  • A Seat On the Aisle – Ken’s theatre blog covering his experiences acting, directing, and watching stage productions
  • Indiana Auditions – a discussion board for the Indiana theatre community that includes audition announcements, casting announcements, and conversation threads for local theatre producers
  • Promoting Rocky Horror Picture Show – one of the Sold Out Run Facebook fans asked about promoting this infamous show – head over there to see my off the cuff suggestions and share your own
  • SpeakPipe – the service I’m using to take your audio questions

Reader Question: Directors and producers are both in a position to promote the show. Who do you think should be doing what? Directors write a production blog while producers buy ads? Producers send out press releases and directors provide interviews? Or is one side responsible for everything? Respond here.

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