Training and Development Inspiring Actors and Creating Careers
Estrada Arts aspires to be recognised as a legitimate and original alternative to drama school and to establish itself as one of the leading independent actor training studios. Already widely respected by actors whom we’ve previously worked with, our ethos is to maintain an atmosphere in which to inspire confidence and equip actors to build a career in the world of acting.
Our courses are the result of over 10 years of dedication to actor training, development, original writing and performance on stage, digital film and audio recordings. The main principle behind all our work is that great acting comes from the actor’s skill-set - to be fully and ruthlessly in the present moment, but above all else - to trust their instincts. Our training should be available to anyone from young to senior adults, wishing to dedicate themselves to learning the craft of acting and is designed to meet the needs of aspiring and working actors of all experiences and backgrounds.
There will be three main phases to the training; The Foundation Course, The Core Training and The Advanced Training. The part-time Foundation Course provides the opportunity to experience the depth of our work before committing to further training.
Marketing a Production
Just as in any other endeavour, the theatre company, in this case Estrada Arts, will continue to develop its brand, a unique identity that is easily recognised by a certain target audience. The brand is developed primarily by the artistic head of our affiliated visual arts section Studio Eye, and will stem from an artistic policy and the audience it would like to attract.
The project’s director will continue to discuss vital ideas and images that correspond to our interpretation of the play – the director with a view to communicating an idea of their production, Studio Eye with a view to making an impact on the right potential audience. Sometimes this image may be taken from a design, sometimes it will take the form of the title of the play itself and sometimes it will have to be shot, drawn or made specifically for the production.
Most theatre companies, whether they are producing just one show or a season of several shows, will issue promotional material providing details of the venues, dates and times of the performances, together with brief details of the play and its cast. A programme and posters will also contain other information about supporting activities, and when using a designated performance or screening space, there will also be details relating to information about any catering facilities, foyer events, opening times etc. Since 2010 until pre-Covid, Estrada had produced a yearly average of 10-25 short and long-form dramas per year in theatres and on digital film screenings.
Direct mailings and e-lists
Most regions of the country are now supported by sophisticated arts marketing organisations that can supply theatre companies with statistics regarding their potential local and national audiences. These organisations will often hold databases of members of the public who attend other theatres and have given permission for their details to be kept. These details can be accessed and used as the basis for what is known as direct mail, the sending of emails, letters, brochures and leaflets to a specific target audience Estrada considers will be interested in a particular production. We will also makes use of social media in marketing, especially e-membership. Audience members submit their email details and sign up to the terms and conditions of the Estrada e-newsletter. This means that they receive an electronic version of newsletters, brochures and any other promotional material we might issue. This is particularly useful for last-minute ticket deals and promotions, and will serve as a more immediate tool for communicating with the audience.
Media could become a powerful tool in the marketing of promotion of our productions, especially among younger audiences. The website’s function is similar to that of the season brochure, in that it aims to promote the company’s productions, project an image of the project and its work, as well as keeping its loyal audience members informed of what’s on. However, where the website scores over a brochure is that once the brochure is printed and mailed it cannot be changed or updated, whereas of course the website can quite easily, quickly and regularly.
Sponsorship and Advertising
Theatre and digital film productions are extremely costly, and very few theatre companies can break even on ticket sales alone, so Estrada Arts will also be seeking corporate sponsors for productions. Sponsors could make a gift of money towards a production or season in return for association with that season. The deal could include the sponsor’s corporate logo being included on all the promotional material, or the season being named after the sponsor. It might also include a number of events to which the sponsor can invite their own guests and promote their own organisation in association with the theatre company and the production.
This is an essential skill in marketing in order to ensure the success of our production. Thom McKeown has a qualified and experienced background to write scripts for plays and film productions in an interesting but succinct manner which will hopefully excite a target audience and prompt them to buy tickets. In addition as a highly skilled graphicdesigner operating as Studio Eye he produces originated artwork for all the Estrada Productions and his weekly music audio/radio/podcast Public Address, examples of which can be seen at studioeye.net
In Conclusion – an Invitation
Estrada Arts has been writing, preparing, casting, directing, rehearsing and performing original short and long form dramas since 2010. During that time over 75 productions have been presented to appreciative audiences on stage and latterly on digital film too. Due to the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown and lack of `Arts funding support for lesser projects, the essential finance for offering training, development, production and premises has all but vanished from the UK/Scotland cultural landscape. In the past I have had to finance these costs myself but I am no longer in a position to do so – therefore I am hoping to secure Crowdfunding financial support to fully reactivate the aforementioned services and facilities.
Background to Production Material
The subject matter of the material has been primarily human condition/social realism in tone and content, highlighting important contemporary issues such as sex-trafficking, domestic abuse, the impact of cancer on friends and family of the patient, loneliness, PTSD, alcoholism, female empowerment, relationship breakdowns and many more. With the comparative lack of financial support to the arts in the UK, it has only been possible to achieve these productions due to the passion of the participants - and as yet, unfortunately no profit whatsoever has been achieved. The enormous costs of theatre hire and marketing the plays and films has adversely limited the reach of these high-calibre productions to larger audiences and it would be a huge boost if external financial support could be forthcoming, ideally through crowdfunding which in turn may well attract future arts-funding, philanthropy or sponsorship. Any advice, financial input or associated advertising arrangements for future work from respectable and ethical sources would be of enormous benefit – as theatre and film can, if properly used, be a wonderfully therapeutic facility, in so many ways. It should be noted that any profit margins emanating from future productions will be fed directly into the running of Estrada and further courses and project work. Full accounted transparency for all income and outgoings will be readily available to all.
Thom McKeown (2024)