Walden, the Ballad of Thoreau by Michael Johnathon
 

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Walden: PROMOTION TIPS

Most schools will find very little promotion is needed to produce the play. Usually, the student body will assemble in the school auditorium or theater, filling all the seats. All that is needed are a few posters and a theater program to distribute to the audience. All of these materials are available for immediate use on our downloads Page (if you've not registered, please do that before trying to download.)
 

In-School Promotion:

Walden Poster, 11x17” (download by registering your performance)
This is the largest of the posters. You might find downloading the PDF and bringing it to a local printer, such as a Kinko’s or Staples, is the easiest way to make copies. Once you have printed a dozen or so, write in the day, time, venue and names of the starring actors. Distribute where appropriate around the school.

Walden Poster, 8.5x14” (download by registering your performance)
Most common printers can easily print this size sheet of paper. Download the PDF, open the file and then make copies. If your printer is only black and white, that’s fine if you choose. Once you have printed the quantity you need, write in the day, time, venue and names of the starring actors. Distribute where appropriate around the school.

Walden Poster, 8.5x11” (download by registering your performance)
This is the most common paper size. Download the PDF, open the file and then make copies. Once you have printed your supply, write in the day, time, venue and names of the starring actors. Distribute where appropriate around the school.

Walden Handbill, 8.5x11” (download by registering your performance)
There are two handbills per sheet of paper. Download the PDF, open the file and then make ONE CLEAN COPY. Write in the day, time, venue and names of the starring actors. Make copies of the finished master sheet. Cut all the copies in half. We suggest using the smaller handbill to distribute to all students in the school a week prior to the play.

When several schools/colleges merge into a larger theater:

Some school districts might find it easier to organize a single group of actors (one production) and present that production to several schools. Often there is a wonderful theater or performing arts center in the community that can seat from 1,000-3,000 people. Or perhaps a local college offers to produce the play and invite the high schools to attend their production on campus. In this case, the Walden play would be considered an educational field trip. Coordinating teachers should work together so that all schools use the same posters and handbills. Make sure they all say the same thing. Be sure to hang the larger posters in the theater the weeks prior to the event.

When the public is invited:

If the play is to be considered a fund raiser for the school as well as an educational event, the public might be invited to participate and purchase tickets. Using the posters above, BE SURE TO INCLUDE THE TICKET PRICE on the posters. Concentrate on book stores, coffee shops, libraries, music stores, health food stores, grocery stores and other public areas.

Call your local newspapers: Be polite, be clear, be brief and be excited when speaking to the media. They will write a story about the production and help publicize it. Most newspapers will bend over backwards to support their schools, especially if several schools participate at the same time and the public is being invited to attend.

Call your local cable company or TV station: Most cable companies have a community bulletin board type channel and the will give you free advertising. It is not unusual for a cable company or a local TV affiliate (like the NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox channel) to want to “sponsor” the community event. This means they will make commercials and run them on the air. In this case you will want to get a copy of their station logo and place it on ALL posters, handbills and the theater program.

Call your local PUBLIC RADIO station: Public and community stations are very hometown oriented. Usually, they are run by volunteers who have a deep appreciation for their communities. Public radio is also ideally suited to the arts, theater, Thoreau and issues like the environment. They can support the performances by talking about the play on the air, interviewing the director and actors, etc. In this case you will want to get a copy of their station logo and place it on ALL posters, handbills and the theater program.

NOTE: Be fair to your media sponsors. Only deal with ONE radio station and ONE television station. The media appreciates exclusivity when donating their resources to you.

Using the Walden Theater Program:

This is an important educational tool during the event of the play to put in the hands of the audience. It also is a show of respect and appreciation for the sponsors who arranged for schools to receive the play free of charge.

The Theater program is a standard sized program on 8.5x11” paper that you will print, collate and fold. Stapling is not necessary as the program is only 8 pages (four sheets, then folded)

First: Print out a set of master copies. Most of the Program is already laid out and written for you. It includes a short bio of Thoreau, Emerson and the other characters. There is information about Earth Day and educational resources. YOU WILL NOTICE BLANK SPACES IN THE PROGRAM.

Second: Print the names of the Director and Actors is the section provided. You can type it out on a word processor and PASTE the content into the provided area on the master copy of the program.

Third: Use the BLANK SPACES in the program master copy to
a) thank others who have helped the project, like your media sponsors or
b) SELL ADS to local stores. This will help make the program distribution cost-free to the school.

Fourth: Once your extra ads and copy have been pasted into the master program sheets, make your copies on a normal copy machine. Remember, you will be copying on BOTH SIDES of each sheet. If you expect 500 to attend, print at least 250 programs. Invite students to help in the printing, folding and collating process.

Downloads Page (if you've not registered, please do that first.)



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