Recent Work: County Players website design
Categories: Web Design
Let's put on a show.
For thousands of years that sentence has been the siren song that left countless theater widows weeping – or cursing – into their hands. County Players in Wappingers Falls, NY, says it four times a year, and when they do a faithful group of volunteers, from their board of directors to the ticket sellers, mark time out of their calendars to bring those shows to life.
When we looked at redesigning their website, we asked County Players what they needed most. Volunteers, they answered.
If you're not familiar with putting a show, four of them in one year might not sound like much work. Believe me, it is. What it isn't is much in the way of website content. That matters because County also said they wanted a website that gives their audience a reason to come back on a regular basis.
Why do you visit the sites you visit every day? Do they make you laugh? Think? Do they titillate? Are they about your passions? Obsessions? Regardless, I'm willing to bet if you visit them daily they produce regular content.
Take a look at the show page for most any theater, and you will see the same vital statistics: dates and times, synopsis, cast, promo pic or poster and a link to buy tickets. Admittedly all good, critical information for the audience. But what about the content for your audience?
Theater isn't just about ticket sales. Whatever your underlying philosophy is about what theater should be for that ticket buying audience, theater still comes down to one sentence:
Let's put on a show.
And that takes a lot of hours: sets to build, costumes to gather, sew and fit, music to direct, dances to choreograph, lights to design, props to find, tickets to sell and concessions to run, never mind the actors on the stage. That's a lot of people – volunteers in the case of County Players – putting in a lot of time.
It also happens to be fertile ground for content. Each instance creates the potential for a story that points the spotlight on an aspect of theater other than acting. And in bringing those parts of putting on a show center stage, you do two things: you give your audience a reason to visit the site on a regular basis – so they can see a show built from the beginning; and you attract those volunteers who would love to be involved in theater but have no interest in acting.
We made each show page a multimedia bulletin board about putting on the show. County can post content as the show develops, involving their audience in the process, exciting some of them to join in and volunteer, and encouraging them to visit the site on a regular basis to see how things are coming along. And, of course, you can also buy tickets.
Does it make running site more work for County? Yes it does. Content, especially good content, always takes work. Anything worthwhile does. And it's about putting on the show. In fact, it's a terrific role for a volunteer. You in?
Here's a link, just in case.