Last week I developed a sustainability plan so that Actors’ Theatre can survey audience members next summer during their performances at Schiller Park. I’ve recommended some changes to the way we tracked our data this summer, and tried to create a plan that is easy to implement if surveys become part of the house managers’ responsibilities next year I’ve tried to condense what I’ve learned this summer about best practices for survey design and talking to audience members into a short document, and I’ve linked to the resources I’ve found online in the hopes that any questions can be answered by a quick scan of one of these sites.
I’m also outlining the final survey report I’ll create once we reach 500 surveys, which I expect to happen this coming weekend, my last at ATC. I can’t start analyzing the data until we have it, but I’ve begun to plan some ways I’ll summarize the findings and make recommendations based on the trends that have emerged so far.
On Sunday night, ATC gave their final performance of Richard III in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. During the course of this run, I noticed how the audible response of the audience can really change the energy of the performers. During some shows, the audience is fairly subdued, during others, they applaud between scenes and at the conclusion of particular speeches. On Sunday night, I sat with a large party and watched one man instigate the applause between each scene. His party was responsive, laughing at the jokes and insults, bristling at Richard’s creepiness, and this energy spread through the audience. It was fun to see how one audience member can really impact the tone of a performance.
Following the performance, we had strike. I attended the Captain Blood strike in mid-July, and loved helping with the process of turning over the set from one show to another. Here’s a few pictures from Sunday night’s strike, and the building of the set for The Miser, which opens Thursday, August 6: