School theatre groups and community theatres are always short on money. Bringing in a large audience, even if your ticket prices are low, is a way to add to the funding. It also may attract students who have never done theatre. But if people don’t know about your show, they won’t be there.
The parents and relatives of the actors will most likely come to the show. But it would be great if other people from the community would come see the show the kids have worked so hard on.
If it is a school production, the first thing to do is to make fliers to be handed out to every student from all grades. A nice touch would be to ask what is the average number of kids in each class in each school. Then you can separate the fliers into stacks for each class. The school may not require this, but it will be very much appreciated.
You can also make a large poster to place in the front hall of each school. Put lots of photos of the kids in the show on the poster. The kids will like seeing themselves on the poster. On both the fliers and the posters, be sure to include the date, time and place, plus the price of the tickets and whom to contact to purchase tickets.
In addition to handing out fliers in the schools, many local businesses may be willing to put a flier in their window or somewhere in the store. Always ask permission before putting up a flier — you want local business owners to support you. If you have a playbill for your show, you can offer to put an ad for their business in the playbill for a small price. It is a charitable contribution for them, and helps pay for the cost of printing your playbill.
If your town has a local newspaper, you should submit an article with a photo a couple of weeks before the show. The photo should be an action shot of the actors in costume. If it is a concert, the kids should be singing or playing their instruments. The photo should be fairly close up, which limits you to three or four people in the photo. Wide shots will not print up well in a newspaper. Give the newspaper several photos to choose from. You could also send the article to the local papers of any town that is adjacent to yours. If it is a show children would enjoy, parents from other towns might bring their kids to see it.
Many local newspapers now have online news websites. There are also community websites and school websites where you can post your article and photos. Again, you can post your event on nearby town websites to increase your possible audience.
Facebook is an important tool for getting the word out. Email a short version of the news article about your show to everyone in the show, their parents, other teachers, friends, etc., and ask them to please post the article on their Facebook page. They can also put the info on Twitter, or any other social media they use.
Don’t overlook the usefulness of a big sign. Make some signs to place in front of the school, or in any town owned area that will allow you to post a sign with the name of your show, the date and time, and an info website or email address.
It doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to advertise for a show, but it is always worth the investment if the kids are rewarded with a crowded audience there to appreciate their talents.