California Q's - Curtain Speeches
Does your theatre regularly do 'curtain speeches' before any of the following? (Multiple responses apply)
83.3% Every performance of 'Main' or 'Second' Stage
25% Opening night performance of 'Main' or 'Second' Stage
8.3% Closing performance of 'Main' or 'Second' Stage
41.7% Special events performances
8.3% Guest/Rental/Outside performances
8.3% Kids classes and camps
Who performs the curtain speeches? (Multiple responses apply)
50% Executive/Managing Director
66.7% Artistic Director
33.3% Board President
25% Another Staff Member
8.3% Stage Manager
8.3% Board members
33.2% Director of the show
8.3% House Manager
What types of announcements are made during curtain speeches? (Multiple responses apply)
8.3% Turn of Cellphone' etc, Noise or Disruption Ettiquette Info
33.3% Exits Info,
33.3% Concessions/Intermission Info
66.6% Future Performances Info
25% Special Events Info
50% Acknowledgement of Specific Audience Attendees
41.7% Requests for Donations or Funding
41.7% Season Subscription Info/Request for Subscription Purchases
8.3% Underwriters, sponsors, lobby promos, raffles
16.6% Thanking local businesses who have donated or sponsored
8.3% Membership Applications/Volunteers
Do you have a 'system' or individual responsible for ensuring there is a curtain speaker for each performance?
Executive Artistic Director
Not really. Generally managing director.
Not formally but the director is often tasked with it
The company Artistic Director decides
Yes, it is prerecorded and put in the hands of our sound operator
We work as a team to ensure it happens
What are the benefits of curtain speeches at your theatre?
Etiquette reminders, thanking sponsors, future events, lobby promos
Build excitement for up coming shows/season
Puts a human face on our shows, nice to connect with audience
Settles the audience, introduces theater company
Best way to reach our supporters
To urge cellphones off etc, and to advertise upcoming performances
Encourage membership, build expansion fund, solicit volunteers for future plays
Must give exit info, allows late patron to be seated
It engages the audience before a show. Our audiences love it. On occasion, for a drama, we do a prerecorded speech.
Getting information out to new patrons
They are very important to some of our sponsors who wish to be publicly acknowledged. We have occasionally played around with making those fit with the show stylistically, or tried to add some humor.
New audience members learn more about us.
What are the challenges of curtain speeches at your theatre?
Some people don't speak loudly enough
Length and also charisma of the speech giver
Finding someone reliable to do it if Managing Director not available.
We do too much asking for money over and over again. When it is done for every show The audience gets sick and tired of us begging for money. I believe we need to keep them very brief or not at all.
Resistance from "old" board members, play directors wanting to toot their own horn - not sticking to the scripted language.
Sometimes you get a dead audience. In that case, I cut it really short and tell them all the info is in their program.
I am the only one who does it.
There are none.