Seattle has gained a reputation of its proliferation of theatres since 1962. Theatres were beneficiary of Seattle Center, a venue and service provider, and several initiatives such as one provided by Ford Foundation. Historically, the five major theatre companies--Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, The Empty Space Theatre, Intiman Theatre, and Seattle Children's Theatre—and other smaller ones complemented each other by their unique niches individually during the 1970s and the1980s. They were differentiated according to general aesthetics, programming, the size and character of the venues, the timing of the season, etc. Rep, a repertory company, was the largest and had financial clout to make big and money-consuming productions as well as to influence the ticket price in the market. ACT focused on contemporary playwrights or adaptations. Empty Space was the incubator of new and offbeat writers and works. By the mid 1990's, however, many of the leading theaters had broadened their programming to the extent that they overlapped considerably, resulting in the loss of donors and audiences.
II. Marketing Objective(s)
It was common that artistic directors, actors shifted from one organization to another in Seattle. It led to the similar taste of theatres’ programming. As the increasing homogeneity among theatres eroding their distinctiveness, loyalty of donors and audiences to any organization was waning. Thus, to rebuild individual brand equity and also the brand of “theatre arts” in Seattle were both critical. In addition, it’s also important to find initiatives to increase individual, corporate and foundation donations. III Marketing Challenges and Opportunities
Externally, the five major theatres were facing competition with other arts organizations and entertainment for audiences, ticket sales, and venues. Also, they need to strive for more contributed income under declining support in addition to the slumping U.S. economy. Internally,...