Currently, I am working with a theatre in New England as an acting teacher for young kids. This class is an introductory course to theatre directions, jargon, auditioning, and acting games. It’s definitely a fun course though the majority of the students haven’t had the opportunity to be onstage before. I learn a lot from explaining theatre to them though I still don’t get my fill as a performer myself. I don’t live in the city so I don’t often get to take “class.” If I wanted to brush up on my tap skills, there are more child and teen classes available than adult. My question to address today is about adults taking class and whether there is a viable market for local theatres to make more money.
Off to Class to Network
One of the big reasons to take a class in the city is to network. Want to be considered for a production under a prolific choreographer in your area? Head to their dance class and try to get to the front of the room! However, if you’re in a more rural area, the network piece isn’t necessarily there. Taking an adult class would be all about perfecting your skills instead of moving on to the front. Performers in rural areas can still make a good living even when they’re not in the city, but there isn’t much of a market for “class” if you’re not going to network.
Who Would Go?
When you’re a kid and your mom wants you to take a piano lesson, you go. She is driving and paying, and you’re the one who does the homework. When you’re an adult, especially one who performs, chances are that you don’t have a ton of time or money to spend on class. If a rural dance studio holds adult sessions, the turnout might be pretty bleak. If they can afford to do a donation class and market it really well, chances are a little better at a turnout. But if you want to really take a dance or acting intensive class, you’ve got to head to big cities to get the full experience.
Could It Work?
If you are an admin at a regional theatre or university theatre department, it could be smart to draw people in on the networking track. Talk to public school teachers in your area to get high school students to head to the colleges for classes, or appeal to locals who might want to get back into theatre but don’t know anyone in administration anymore. This way, you market to potential students and could gain more older actors for mainstage season auditions. Marketing adult classes could be a great money maker for your theatre in the long-run. It could also mean an admin trip to the city to check out some classes with which to model your sessions.