How-To’s of Publicity

Materials Needed:

Computer lab


Learning Objective:

Students will demonstrate their understanding and ability of how to publicize a show by participating in a discussion, brainstorming, and creating their own publicity for The Fiddler on the Roof.


Hook (3-5 minutes):

Play “Packed to the Rafters- A Guide to amateur and fringe theatre publicity.” by AmateurStage on YouTube. Can you tell what we’ll be talking about this class period? Publicity! Publicity is so important to the tech theatre process, but is often left out or forgotten. We have so much power and so many opportunities to advertise within our school and within the community for our shows.


Activity 1 (15-20 minutes):

Brainstorm as a class ways that you can publicize a show. Some possible answers and ways to publicize might include creating a facebook event, making facebook statuses, sending tweets, making instagram posts, holding fundraisers like carwashes etc., flyers, use of photoshop, newspaper posts, the school newspaper, school tv, local radio broadcasts, etc.


Students can also share ways that they’ve seen their program advertise in these ways. What do our posters usually look like? Who do they appeal to? Have we advertised through the school tv station or newspaper? What was the outcome?


As new ideas are offered, either by the instructor or student, discuss ways to implement them and how they’d be effective publicity endeavors. For example, while promoting the production students can make Facebook events and posts, as well as daily tweets and Instagram posts promoting the show. Posts can include interesting things about the show like jokes, pictures of the set, and pictures of the costumes/set- things that get people interested and engaged in the production. Additionally, this is a great way to spread the word about the production to people outside of the school or who wouldn’t normally get a chance to hear about it.


Carwashes and other fundraisers (where you ask for donations for a service instead of a set price) in a busy part of town helps advertise to the community about the upcoming production. It also helps them meet the people actually involved in the production. Brief newspaper ads appeal to older demographics and, again, spread the word about the show to people who might not normally hear about it. These brief discussions about each publicity type help students understand the benefits of each option, and ways they might go about doing it.


Activity 2 (50-55 minutes):

It’s time to get your hands dirty in the world of publicity. You may work alone or with a partner but you must create a 100 word newspaper advertisement for an actual newspaper in the area. This short ad must give a teaser for the production that will make people want to attend. You should also include location, show dates, times, and prices. You’ll also want to include some details that are specific to your particular show/program. This may include anecdotes, quotes, and names of people in your company. This ad will appeal to older demographics, or those who read the newspaper regularly. This ad should be for the show we’re currently working on in this school- Fiddler on the Roof.


You must also create a flyer to appear throughout the school that is an advertisement for the production. It should appeal to students, and more specifically students that wouldn’t normally be inside of your demographic. These are not people that would normally attend your shows. This means you shouldn’t put inside jokes into the flyer that would require someone to be familiar with the show to understand it. (A person like this is already inside of your demographic.) A great way to think about this is creating a meme. You should have some type of image, a funny caption, and information for the show. When you’re picking the image you should consider a few things- including images of actors/characters that are actually in the show, and pop culture references. The picture has to be engaging and inviting. It should make someone stop as they’re walking down the hall. Now for this particular assignment you won’t be able to get actual pictures of actors from your production in costume, etc. but it’s something to think about as you’re making actual publicity flyers. You will create this flyer for one of the productions we’ve produced this year (or for the one we’re working on right now).


Ex: For the musical Grease you could have a picture of the actresses who play the pink ladies (or a picture of the actresses from the movie if you were working on it for this assignment) with a caption that reads “The original Mean Girls.” This is a pop culture reference that will engage students, and that applies to the production. Clearly it doesn’t need to tell the story of the entire show, but it gets students interested in an aspect of it. Ideally you’d have at least 3 different designs of flyers for the show around the school so there’s room for lots of ideas.


Spend the rest of the class period in the computer lab for students to complete these flyers/newspaper ads.
Wrap up- What you don’t finish in class will have to be finished at home for homework. The best flyers will actually be featured around the school, and we will try to publish the most polished, engaging newspaper ad in an actual local newspaper.