How Futur3 wants to communicate more directly with its audience. Or: Insights into the everyday life of a free theatre ensemble.
Especially in times of the pandemic, artists are thinking about how to reach audiences better, how to inform them better, how to get and stay in contact with interested people. Because that's what we're about: making theatre that - to use a current term - resonates. That takes up themes that want and need to be dealt with (artistically). And also topics that are sometimes above all fun and that, through humour and lightness, point back to the big stories that don't have to have anything to do with current crises.
In fact, funding institutions, with whose financial help ensembles like Futur3 can realise their projects, have tried to ensure the survival of independent art with various funding formats even during the pandemic. Thanks for that. And, in fact, it has given rise to completely new ideas on the promotion of art, which will hopefully continue to have an effect even after the pandemic! For example, it helps artists immensely if they can adapt their creative periods to their own rhythms rather than to budget years. This is an almost presumptuous concept - but one that is now slowly gaining acceptance.
Futur3 has received funding from the nationally active Performing Arts Fund in summer 2021 under the project title RE-LINK (= reconnection!), which should enable us to do what we have described above: More direct communication with the audience. We have therefore launched various new formats and actions:
A podcast. Yes, us too. With the title of our podcast, wealsowant to describe our working method: "Futur3 Theatre: konzept&zufall". In the podcast we give an insight into the rehearsal room of Futur3 - and into the performance practice: the audience is invited to ask questions. Of all kinds! Such as: About the brand of our mask products; where we come across our themes; why the last project was so sensationally interesting/boring/pressing/meaningless etc.; whether we will also play in Bielefeld sometime; why we think you still have to make plays about Nazis; and so on. In our podcast, the questions are written down on cards and placed upside down on the table. There sit: the artistic directors of Futur3 and other members and associates of the Futur3 family. Depending on the topic, sometimes the dramaturgy, sometimes the music, the stage design - and of course the actors. The people at the table take turns drawing a question card and have to answer. As quickly, precisely and spontaneously as possible! In a maximum of 2 minutes. Then comes the next question.
New strategies in social media. Phew, difficult topic. We want to test alternatives to FB&Co. and try to make the digital world more democratic, more transparent and less (purely) profit-oriented. But above all, we want to be where our audience is! So for now, you can still find us on Meta, especially on Instagram. We would like to get out of the pure advertising use of the channels, if not completely. We are testing how we can use the existing platforms in a new way. More creative, more communicative, more social.
Play development in open rounds Yes or No? Why either, or? Currently, the Instagram account @futur3_theatre offers insights into the rehearsal work on the new production "The One Next Door" and creates opportunities to design the avatars even before the premiere. The Futur3 (Instagram) audience can participate in the development of the play via story surveys and, if they make it to the theatre, find their answers and influences on stage.
An open theatre bar Please chill your own drinks! In a relaxed, closed atmosphere (Instagram currently limits the size of chat groups to 32 members), Futur3 also wants to enter into deeper discussions with its audience. Chat groups complement the respective formats, e.g. they offer the opportunity to ask questions while listening to the podcast or to ask the next question.
A corporate design of your own Forreal? What sounds like business should also bring a little concept to the appearance of Futur3 . Within the framework created by this, however, there should be enough room for the diversity of our projects and new creative ideas. Therefore, we have gently revised our graphics to be more clearly recognisable. Concept & coincidence.
By and with: André Erlen, Stefan H. Kraft (artistic direction); Martin Herrndorf (communication strategist); Charlotte Luise Fechner, Sandra Nuy (audience communication & podcast consulting); Jörg Ritzenhoff (audio & jingle); Peggy Lex (graphic design); Fotis Totolidis (programmer); Nastassja Pielartzik (project assistance); Theresa Heußen (production management)
Re-Link Theatre is funded by the Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V.