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BWW Blog: Marketing SPRING AWAKENING Worldwide

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Before the school year started, we knew that Baldwin Wallace would be producing Spring Awakening.

When I wrote "Make Theatre Accessible - a Pandemic Lesson" I didn't think I would be taking an active part in this soon.

Before the school year started, we knew that Baldwin Wallace would be producing Spring Awakening (first trailer out now). However, as we got closer and closer to the beginning of classes, every new guideline imposed a harder restriction to how the University would be able to put on this show.

BWW Blog: Marketing SPRING AWAKENING Worldwide
Spring Awakening logo created
by Arts Management producing team

It got to a point where Director Vicky Bussert and Producer Bryan Bowser decided to go virtual, but not your average "Zoomsical." This is the first ever virtual academic production of Spring Awakening. Shot mostly on iPhones, at more than 40 locations in Northeast Ohio, this is NOT a production you want to miss.

Because we are not limited to a two-week engagement at the University's 500 seat theatre, we are able to reach a nation-wide audience, as well as international viewers (including Brazil!!!).

However, this is a challenge for all of us in the Arts Management producing team. Although many of us were involved with the academic premiere of Kinky Boots last year, I never thought that during my college career I would have the opportunity to reach an unlimited audience. And how? I will tell you: content marketing.

BWW Blog: Marketing SPRING AWAKENING Worldwide
The Moritz Cast

The producing team split into Programming, Traditional Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Education Surround. With the support of the BW's Conservatory, BWMT, and Arts Management programs we were able to create different series to get a conversation going, and boost ticket sales.

Madi Burwell and I are responsible for "Those You've Known." A series of panel discussions with past and present Spring Awakening cast members moderated by Claudine Grunenwald Kirscher. In 2012 BW produced Spring Awakening in partnership with the Beck Center. Now we're bringing the leads together to share their experiences with their characters, discuss how the world has change in 8 years and how Spring Awakening is still relevant to this day.

BWW Blog: Marketing SPRING AWAKENING Worldwide
Those You've Known series poster

The Wendla episode, featuring Kyra Kennedy 14', Ally Carbonar 21' and Audrey Hare 22' is already out and you can watch it here! The Moritz conversation featuring James Penca 13', Ben Seneff 21' and Steven Huynh 21' is set to premiere real soon so stay tuned to the Conservatory's YouTube. Lastly, the Melchior episode will be a live event featuring Zach Adkins 15', Eric Siegle 21' and Jahir Hipps 21' this November! Follow @bwmusictheatre on Instagram for more info!

Another very cool series created by Sarah McCord and Danny Ruffing is "The Making of Awakening" where the show's creatives share their perspective of the challenges of a virtual production such as this one. Watch the first episode featuring Vicky Bussert (director) here!

BWW Blog: Marketing SPRING AWAKENING Worldwide
The Making of Awakening series poster

We can all agree that social media has a great influence on young musical theatre fans. It is how we stay connected with our favorite shows, our favorite artists, and even with each other! Sometimes we don't think about how this content we consume online is put together, or how many times it has to be redone, or how it runs for approvals, etc. Therefore, I'm here to celebrate the effort of all the people behind the curtains (or better, behind their computer screens) that keep fans engaged, even during these challenging times when shows are dark.

But what is also amazing is that this content will reach the non-musical theatre fans. It reaches audiences that are looking for something different to watch. By sharing the content we are creating we engage non-traditional audiences with the art form. Sometimes even people who wouldn't have the means to see a touring/Broadway show, now have the opportunity to see an amazing accessible production.

BWW Blog: Marketing SPRING AWAKENING Worldwide
The Wendla Cast

Marketing is not only about getting people to buy your product. Is about engaging them with what you have to offer. In this case it is a creative new production of Spring Awakening brought to you by a special arrangement with MTI and the Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre program, in partnership with Theatre and Dance, and supported by us, the Arts Management producing team.

I hope you enjoy the show from wherever you are, streaming November 19th-22nd.

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