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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

8.3% Volunteer

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?

SignUp Genius

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.

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