Recently, Katie Rosin of Kampfire PR suggested that Antonio Miniño, Marketing Director of Maieutic Theatre Works a.k.a. MTWorks, and I should interview each other about marketing. And so, we did. You can read my answers here.
What I love about Antonio and MTWorks is that they are focused on bringing new plays to life but there’s a catch, they can’t be set in New York. In fact, they take particular interest in plays that are not set in the Northeast. How’s that for specificity?
Here’s what Antonio had to say…
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH MARKETING THEATER?
My love and ease for marketing came from studying advertising in college. Right after I transferred to a theater major I was co-hosting an award winning television show that focused on fashion (Fashion TV), I enveloped myself in the different aspects of the show including producing, art direction and marketing. That was my true learning platform. Once I co-founded MTWorks in 2006 I immediately took on the task of Marketing Director as my main contribution to our non-profit. Along the way I’ve had many wonderful mentors including Maria Isabel Tejeda and Adolfo Lucero from Altos de Chavon/Parsons School of Design, and Joel Butler from whom I learned all I know about graphic design, composition and photography. Bridget deSocio of SocioX and Paper Magazine was also a huge influence in my passion for marketing. Specific to theater marketing I would have to say one of my biggest teachers has been Katie Rosin from Kampfire PR, and also learning from my own mistakes and that of others.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE WHEN IT COMES TO MARKETING A PARTICULAR SHOW?
Biggest challenge is always money, yet it is also a creative challenge. Small budgets force us to think outside of the box and find hands on ways to promote and get the message across. Although I would kill to place some ads for my shows in the main publications and locations the city has to offer.
IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONLY ONE MARKETING RESOURCE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
That’s a tough one. Just like it takes a village to put on a show, it takes multiple resources to promote a show. If we are talking about MTWorks, we have very loyal theatregoers and donors. The best way to get a hold of them is through email or snail-mail. I’d have to choose resources like Constant Contact, Mailchimp or Patronmail.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT WORKING WITH THEATERS?
I am first and foremost an artist and a performer, as such I have a visceral need to convey a message. Each group of artists that get together to put on a show create a unique special kind of magic that is never the same from one show to another. I am happy wherever there is creativity bubbling and what better place than a theater.
I also have a fantastic marketing committee over at MTWorks and I sometimes leave our brainstorming sessions with goosebumps. The things we can create when we are in tune and collaborating are limitless. Our graphic designer Lindsay Moore just gets me. I swear she’s psychic.
Now if you were to ask me what I loath about theater is fundraising. I have an immense respect towards grant writers and development directors. I know not how they do it.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW? TELL US ABOUT IT.
Currently at MTWorks we are kicking off our “Season of Fight”. The first show is COSTA REHAB by playwright Rich Rubin, a powerful comedy that centers around three disabled Iraq war veterans in an army rehab center and the nurses that care for them. It is not a play about war, but a play about healing, which is why I am drawn to it and have fantastical dreams of packed houses. The play is bursting with hope and I think that is exactly what we are in desperate need of – bucket loads of hope. Remember what I said earlier about magic? we always knew this play was poignant, important, needed. When President Barack Obama recently announced the troops were coming home before the end of the year, we understood why the Universe guided us to this play. We open November 3rd and play through the 19th at the WorkShop Theater (312 West 36th Street, 4th Floor)
As an actor I’m performing in a 1940s radio edition of It’s A Wonderful Life directed by Broadway’s Steve Hauck (Irena’s Vow) on December 6th at 7pm at Manhattan Theatre Source (177 MacDougal Street, Manhattan). I’m also performing in The Stranger to Kindness reprising the role that garnered me a best actor nomination at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, this time as part of FRIGID New York in February, 2012. You will also probably catch me singing in a couple of benefit events this Holiday season.
I’m also writing a one-act play MONA, inspired by the thousands of men and women who venture the dangerous Caribbeann Sea in search of the utopian American Dream. Hope to have a public reading of it in the Spring either in New York or Vermont. I’ll keep you posted.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
Can I be a total groupie and tell you how much I love Astoria Performing Arts Center? I think Tom Wojtunik is one of the greatest creators of our time. I also wouldn’t be a good marketer if I didn’t mention MTWorks’ website www.MTWorks.org and my own www.AntonioMinino.com
I would also love to extend an exclusive offer to the APAC family – a 50% discount to any of the COSTA REHAB performances. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.