I blame Harry Potter star Rupert Grint for my theatre obsession. He was in the first play I saw in London and, ever since, I’ve been hooked to the wonderful world of theatre. I might not be the only millennial who goes to the theatre, but there are definitely not enough people my age enjoying the performing arts. They perceive it as old fashioned. It’s the theatres’ duty to make sure that young people understand that it’s for everyone. At the end of the day, the millennials of today are the regular theatre goers of tomorrow. So, make sure to do the right thing to get your future audience.
As a millennial, I use social media daily and like theatres who use it regularly. People my age love to connect online, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their new favourite Snapchat. Theatres need to be on top of their social media game. Millennials want to be able to feel connected with productions and their actors. When they use social media to praise or talk about the show they would like to be validated by their producers, directors and even the actors. This way they feel closer to show and feel like they’ve had some kind of impact. Especially with celebrities in theatre productions, my generation loves the possibility of getting a tweet back from their favourite actor. Therefore, every production no matter how small should make use of a Twitter account.
Every theatre should also make use of an Instagram account. Its many tools such as Boomerang and Hyperlapse make it an amazing multimedia app that millennials love. It’s very visual and a great way for theatres to show what’s behind their production. Whether it’s backstage posts or a daily takeover from a d different actor in the play or musical. People will want to know what is happening behind-the-scenes, thus feeling closer to the show.
Some shows in the West End and Broadway already understand what my generation wants. Sunny Afternoon in the heart of London uses their social media not only for updates and promotion (Sunny Afternoon is on Twitter @KinksMusical), they also give their fans a glimpse behind the curtains. For Example, a short video about the creation of the girls’ hair and make up.
Facebook is the catch all, meaning you can post snaps, info, tweets and Instagram photos, everything is easily accessible. It’s basically the new website, but don’t get me wrong, every theatre still needs their own site. Just link it with your Facebook account. It’s also a way of meeting other people who went or are going to the same show and sharing their love for theatre or a particular play and musical.
The new favourite app on our smartphones is Snapchat, an instant photo messenger that allows you to post your picture to the public. The difference from Instagram is that the way it’s done, it’s almost like you’re the only person looking at the picture and it makes it a personal experience. You also feel like you’re there when looking at video clips or photos, because they’re usually very recent and are only available to look at for a certain amount of time. Snapchat is definitely a great way to get millennials more interested as it’s almost like being there.
I love theatre. I’m writing this because I’m a millennial, this is what I want and this is what I think theatre should do in order to expand the age range of their audience.
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About the Reviewer – Sarah Louhichi
I’m a former exchange student in Los Angeles, now studying journalism at the University of Westminster in London. I’m a theatre lover and hopeful future theatre critic. I call the West End, London’s theatre wonderland, my second home. I’m the creator of millenniallondon.com, a website dedicated to London’s culture and lifestyle, run by millennials. I’m always on a mission to get the best deals and cheapest tickets for my favourite shows. Sunny Afternoon, a show about the English band The Kinks is my guilty pleasure, I’ve seen it 35 times and counting.