Saturday, November 04, 2006

Merc story on local community theatres

Why does the Merc snub Foothill? (I ask only somewhat with tongue in cheek.)

Seriously, Foothill seems stuck between a "professional" rock and a "community" hard place.

The Merc did a nice little story on three local community theatres, pointing out that if the cost of higher end theatre in our area is getting you down you can always check out more localized "non-professional" theatres.

I've complained here before that the Merc doesn't give FMT the time of day when it comes to reviews. While high-quality productions, featuring Equity performers in most cases, are put on...think Ragtime, think Urinetown...the Merc ignores them. All while they travel to the East Bay and SF regularly to review, along with smaller local theatres, such as City Lights.

OK, so despite professional production values and Equity performers, I guess because FMT is on the Foothill campus the Merc is thinking of FMT as a community theatre.

But then they do this piece on community theatres, and nothing, zip, nada.

I'm happy for the theatres that did get talked about...I'm sure we all can use as much help as we can get. But Broadway by the Bay...with its own Equity contracts and high ticket prices (notice they don't mention them in the article like they do the other 2 theatres) is not exactly the "little theatre company that could."

Having been (long, long ago) in 8 shows at Foothill, and having blogged here for a few years, I know that not getting Merc coverage has impact. I can be all about the online world, but still acknowledge that getting the major papers to review your show can provide a major boost at the box office. So, my sour grapes are showing, I guess. And probably Jay (FMT Artistic Director) and Carla (FMT publicist) won't think this blog post will help. So I should make clear: this is my opinion, not the opinion of the theatre itself...just the opinion of a loooooong-time Bay Area theatre-goer who thinks FMT doesn't get the attention it should for the work it does!

Comments:
So, So true. And no matter how you slice publicity from the Merc sells tickets. It has a giant circulation
 
Absolutely. A recent demographic survey we did of readers of blogs in our BlogHer network showed that while people don't seem to read magazines much anymore, a whopping majority still get their daily newspaper. As print media goes, the local paper is still a driver for local events.
 
I thought that was an odd piece overall. Much as I love my own company, I thought "why pick these three out of so many worthy to cover?"
 
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