Today, people have more entertainment options than ever before, theatre audiences are in decline, and governments are slashing support for the arts.
How do you reinforce the value of live theatre year on year?
Small but mighty.
Tucked away in a historic building in Sydney’s Kings Cross, Griffin Theatre Company is Australia’s only theatre dedicated to new Australian writing. This small not-for-profit has launched the careers of many playwrights and actors, and played host to some of the nation’s most iconic works. However Griffin faces a constant battle for funds. Subscription drives and an end-of-financial-year (EOFY) donations campaign are all that keep the theatre operating. Re helps with both free of charge.
Really intimate theatre.
For the 2015 EOFY donations drive, Re brought to life one feature that truly differentiates Griffin: it’s size. Griffin’s capacity of just 105 people means the audience enjoys a uniquely intimate relationship with the actors on stage.
The ‘Really Intimate Theatre’ pop-up brought the relationship between actor and audience even closer. This mini-theatre set up in bustling East Circular Quay had room for one actor and one spectator only. Over the course of a day, 75 one-on-one performances were delivered, giving a new audience an intense shot of live theatre.
This activation and the short film it produced served as a powerful and shareable reminder of the value of live theatre. A total of $82,047 was raised during the campaign period from 12 May until 30 June, representing a 40 per cent increase on the previous year.
A return to core values.
In 2016, Griffin’s funding situation worsened. Anticipated government cuts led to more than 60 Australian arts companies losing funding. This situation placed intense pressure on the 2016 season subscriptions and fundraising. Re took the opportunity to re-embrace Griffin’s core values: Raw, intimate and groundbreaking. A newsprint brochure brought the gritty rawness of Griffin to life, with the added benefit of saving valuable funds. A stripped back approach to portrait photography conveyed the sense of being up-close and personal with an edge of discomfort. Just like a night at Griffin
Intimacy comes to life.
With no budget for distribution, the film to drive EOFY donations needed to have the emotional power to compel people to share. Re created a short film in collaboration with director Jack Naylor entitled ‘Intimacy’. This confronting piece explored what intimacy means in its many forms. With a script by Australian playwright Suzie Miller, and a cast of exceptional Griffin talent, it encapsulated the intimate experience of Griffin Theatre.
This film was one of the most successful campaigns Griffin has ever run, both in terms of raising brand awareness and donations. In the month following the campaign launch in June 2016, Griffin raised 160 per cent of the previous year’s donations. In just over a month they received more donations than over the entirety of 2015.
An evolution for 2017.
For 2017, Griffin needed to ensure it stayed front of mind, remaining true to its brand while bringing something fresh. Re evolved the image style to give characters more context and share more of their narrative. By reflecting the diversity and depth of the upcoming season, the collateral reinforced Griffin’s commitment to Australian stories.