[Skip to Content]

Theatre Marketing

In a Theatre Marketing presentation, the Thespian must prepare a presentation of a marketing campaign for a production of a published work written for the theatre. Designs for performances of original work, poetry, fiction, screenplays, television, or any other medium are not permitted. Only one Thespian may be involved in the design. No collaborations are permitted. Designs for either theoretical or realized productions are acceptable, though it is strongly recommended that the Thespian was responsible for the actual publicity in a realized production.

The skills measured by the adjudicators during the presentation are:

  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the marketing director’s role and specific responsibilities
  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the resources and personnel needed to communicate a marketing concept to a target audience
  • Ability to perform research and apply it to the design process and marketing campaign
  • Ability to align a marketing campaign’s components in a distribution strategy that supports a realized of theoretical production
  • Ability to document, present, and clearly explain and justify marketing materials that are informative, engaging, and effective

In a Theatre Marketing presentation, the Thespian must follow the aforementioned rules for the International Thespian Excellence Awards as presented in this guide, and also the following rules specific to this category:

The Thespian must prepare:

  1. A portfolio of support materials (bound or digital) that methodically works through the marketing process and that must include the following:
    • One-page design statement that includes:
      • Unifying production design concept
      • Theme of the show/recurring motifs
      • Target markets outside of the school audience, noting any publicity restrictions from the licensing agency
    • Research, including:
      • Summary of given circumstances from the script
      • Functionality requirements of the marketing elements
      • Genre, locale, and setting of the play (or other explanation of the world of the play)
      • Artistic and practical needs that impact the design
      • Sources of inspiration for design and color palette (if used)
    • A brief summary of their role and responsibilities during the production (including self and/or team’s responsibilities).
    • Production dates, number of performances, and cost of admission (if realized).
    • A copy of the marketing budget for the publicity campaign and justification of expenses (Note: work will be adjudicated on creativity and quality of the materials; not necessarily on how much money was in the budget.)
    • Details of the design concept’s development, including examples of collaboration with the production team.
    • Final creative assets (such as posters, tickets, promotional handouts, social media templates, etc.) demonstrating branding, promotional efforts, various modifications based on specs/usage, and student’s ability to adapt to the constraints of the licensing agent (i.e., billing requirements, licensed logo usage – if applicable, etc.). If non-original material is used, sources must be cited, and receipts of purchased materials (when applicable) must be included in the presentation of the assets.
    • Distribution schedule and locations.
    • A press release.
    • Outcomes for realized productions, including budget/cost analysis (income vs. money spent) noting any free services rendered such as copies, printing, vendor donations, etc. and assigning a cost value to those donated elements. (Note: Income may not directly affect the marketing budget, but analysis work that presents the marketing costs in relation to the full production budget and revenue should be done.)
  2. A five- to eight-minute in-person or digital presentation summarizing the work with connections to concept, collaboration, and design decision-making. Digital media may be used during an in-person presentation as well (participant must provide their own equipment).
    • The video component may be a webinar-style presentation (i.e., a voiceover during a PowerPoint slideshow) or a talking head-style presentation (i.e., talking to the camera).
    • Suggested standard prompts for all technical categories are provided to help guide the content of a video presentation: 
      • What are some of your responsibilities as a marketing director?
      • How did the director's concept influence your designs?
      • How did the style of the play affect your designs?
      • If the show was realized, did you struggle in unifying the director's concept across all areas of design?
      • If you had more time or resources, what would you change?
      • What would you be willing to compromise in your design/campaign if you had to?
      • What was your inspiration and how did you research it?
    • Also consider these category-specific questions:
      • How effective do you feel your marketing was in bringing an audience to the show?
      • How did you engage with the media (television, newspaper, social media, etc.)?
    • Any video presentation must display the work so that the adjudicators can see the details. If the details of the documents/photos referenced in your presentation cannot be clearly seen in the video, they should be included in your portfolio of support materials.
  3. Optional written essay response to share additional information about the theatre marketing process with the adjudicators.

Theatre Marketing Rubric

PRESENTATION

Presentation and explanation of the executed design, unifying concept, creative decisions, and process

Superior
Above Standard

Precisely explains the executed design, creative decisions, unifying concept, and process.

Excellent
At standard

Clearly explains the executed design, creative decisions, unifying concept, and process.

Good
Near Standard

Inconsistently explains the executed design, creative decisions, unifying concept, and process.

Fair
Aspiring to Standard

Does not explain an executed design, creative decisions, unifying concept, and process.


RESEARCH

Evidence of research of the given circumstances of the script as well as artistic and practical needs which impact the design.

Superior
Above Standard

Comprehensive and detailed research evidence-addresses the artistic and practical needs of the production and target market and illuminates the unifying production concept. 

Excellent
At standard

Detailed research addresses the artistic and practical needs of the production and the target market and correlates to the unifying production concept.

Good
Near Standard

Some research addresses the artistic and practical needs of the production and the target market and correlates to the unifying production concept.

Fair
Aspiring to Standard

Little or no evidence of research which addresses the artistic and practical needs of the production and the target market.   


INTERPRETATION

Creative assets and marketing choices reflect the mood, style, period, locale, and genre of the script.

Superior
Above Standard

Design choices and campaign elements powerfully enhance and communicate the mood, style, period, locale, and genre of the script.  

Excellent
At standard

Design choices and campaign elements communicate the mood, style, period, locale, and genre of the script.

Good
Near Standard

Design choices and campaign elements somewhat communicate the mood, style, period, locale, and genre of the script.

Fair
Aspiring to Standard

Design and campaign elements lack choices that communicate the mood, style, period, locale, and genre of the script.


DESIGN JUSTIFICATION

Explanations which connect the creative assets and marketing campaign to the production concept and the budgetary income and expenditures.

Superior
Above Standard

Comprehensive examples justify the creative decisions, illuminating the connection between the marketing campaign, the budget, and the production concept.

Excellent
At standard

Examples justify the creative decisions and connect the marketing campaign, the budget, and the production concept.

Good
Near Standard

Partial explanations with some examples somewhat connect the creative decisions, the marketing campaign, the budget, and the production concept.

Fair
Aspiring to Standard

Limited explanations and few examples fail to make the connection to the creative decisions, marketing campaign, the budget and production concept.


EXECUTION

Products presented demonstrate a coordinated, realizable marketing strategy.

Superior
Above Standard

Marketing campaign is innovative and realizable with exceptionally clear and focused goals featuring a carefully targeted distribution strategy.

Excellent
At standard

Marketing campaign is realizable with practical goals and planned distribution strategy.

Good
Near Standard

Marketing campaign is mostly realizable with a planned distribution strategy.

Fair
Aspiring to Standard

Marketing campaign seems impractical and/or disorganized without a clear distribution strategy.

 

Download All Rubrics (PDF)