Experiencing Theatres at the Unicorn Theatre
June 19, 2009
The Theatres Trust held its third annual conference, Experiencing Theatres, last week. Theatre Projects was a sponsor of this event, which was held at the Unicorn Theatre - a theatre that Theatre Projects collaborated on.
foyer photo: Hélène Binet, courtesy of Unicorn Theatre
This year's conference looked at how a theatre's design can influence audience expectations. It also explored how theatre owners, operators, and designers can learn from these experiences to create better performance spaces in the future.
The conference sessions offered insights and ideas on
- how theatre design affects audience responses, and how a performance space's 'personality' can have affect the reactions of patrons and performers
- how different venues operate according to their design and location, and how patrons respond to the constraints of individual venues
- how designers can involve audiences in theatre design to shape the venues that will be serving them - from public consultation sessions to the 'young consultants' who were involved in the design process for the Unicorn Theatre
- how we can improve audience experiences and expectations - better customer service, improved signage, easily accessible facilities, more toilets, to name just a few ideas
- how we can make our theatres more relevant to their communities and more accessible to their patrons
- how architecture can influence the reputation of a performance space
Theatre Projects' Petrus Bertschinger worked behind the scenes at the conference, production managing the day. Prior to joining Theatre Projects, he was the planning and operations director for Unicorn Theatre for Children.