Audience development: turning the launch into an art form

Dunking machines, art installations and a goat – is this the secret to a great season launch?

Launching the Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2014 season on Monday night before a near-capacity crowd in the 2381-seat Hamer Hall, MTC Chairman Derek Young noted with pride that the company’s season launches were so keenly attended that they had to be ticketed.

‘Our season launches are the envy of every other state theatre company in the country,’ he said.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts