Building on their intention to co-create with, and better understand their audiences and local communities, Norwich Theatre has launched a new enquiry, Norwich Theatre: Creative Conversation.
Through focus groups and an online survey, Norwich Theatre will open a dialogue with its existing, lost and potential audiences to gauge their perceptions of Norwich Theatre, understand motivations for attending and the visitor experience, clarify the priorities of its local community, and how it can better serve their expectations.
Chief Executive and Creative Director of Norwich Theatre said: “This enquiry is part of our strategic commitment to people and place. Norwich Theatre: Creative Conversation will be a series of questions exploring if audiences feel represented on stage, how they engage with arts outside of the theatre, motivations for visiting the theatre and the Norwich Theatre experience. We really believe theatre is for everyone and this is another important step in making it so.”
Sam Dawson Head of Creative Engagement at Norwich Theatre, said:
“Norwich Theatre: Creative Conversation is really exciting. It’s about Norwich Theatre listening and getting to know our visitors more. The findings will deepen our knowledge of visitors, lost visitors and non-visitors, allowing us to find out motivations, barriers to visiting, visitor experience and much more. This will allow us to respond in a meaningful way to the people we are here to serve.”
Norwich Theatre has partnered with the University of Essex, who led on ‘Theatres Beyond the Stage’, involving the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, and Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch. Led by Professor Rosemary Klich from East 15 Acting School, University of Essex, this work took a snapshot of the position of regional theatres in summer 2022. Based on interviews and survey responses from over 2,000 theatregoers, the report paints a picture of the subtleties around ‘lost audiences’ and tempting them back into theatres. The report also looks at the role of theatres in their community post pandemic, exploring the challenges faced by the venues and their audiences.
Regarding this new research, Professor Klich said: “I’m delighted to be working with Norwich Theatre and helping to facilitate conversation between the theatre, their audience, and the local community.
“Regional theatres can play a crucial placemaking role within the communities they serve and this research hopes to better understand Norwich Theatre’s contribution to the region, and the perspectives and priorities of theatregoers in Norwich.”
All departments across the organisation have had input into the enquiry. As such, the results of the survey will infiltrate all areas of the theatre’s work – from the community activities to take part in, to themes audiences would like to see more of on the stages.
The survey is open now until Sun 22 Oct. To fill out Norwich Theatre: The Creative Conversation survey please visit https://norwichtheatre.org/creative-conversation/