It was one year ago today that I launched the South Florida Theatre Scene. I had high hopes back then:
"I'm trying to foster a deeper exposure to theater than just "here are the shows we're doing." I want to create an environment where people can get excited about the theatre happening in our community. I want to get butts in seats."My original intent was to get a bunch of contributors from many different theaters and disciplines within theatre to each put up one story a month. I sent out emails to dozens of friends and colleagues. In the first few weeks, I was up to eight other contributors!!
But of those eight, only two posted anything; one audition notice a piece. Since then, it's been all me.
Early on, I was doing more mini-articles. Since I was working at Actors' Playhouse at the time, there was an admittedly high number of Playhouse related stories. But I'm still proud of them; I still like this piece on Tomfoolery. The shot of Dave Arisco demonstrating a dance move to the cast is exactly the kind of peek behind the scenes I wanted.
But if I had intended to do an Actors' Playhouse blog, I would have done one. But while it would have kept me endlessly entertained doing the job of the Playhouse's PR department (whoever she is this month), frankly, even I don't think that I could have made a one-theatre-blog interesting to anyone outside the company.
I've done a lot of tweaking; the links to the theaters was an obvious beginning, but the RSS feeds make the page genuinely useful. Even if you don't read anything I post, you can always find links to articles and reviews here. Frankly, it's probably easier to find a Herald or Sentinel review here than their own website.
After all, that's why I was inspired to add them.
From there, I realized that what would REALLY be useful was a round up of what's playing each week. The first edition of The Scene appeared in January.
So every week, I basically re-created my own version of the listings at southfloridatheatre.com
Which I did eventually realize, since I consulted it for leads. The current format of The Scene is an aggregation of all the news stories about what's opening or what's being discussed, and the occasional show that I am aware of through personal contacts.
The Theatre Scene gets between 30 and 50 visitors a day, peaking on Thursdays, which is when I usually get The Scene posted.
The most popular post of all time? I don't know why, but it's a story from December. I have no idea why it has had so many visits, and I find Google Search hits on it every single week. The story is "Mosaic Partners with Barnes & Noble Tonight!" (I've recently removed this story to prevent further dead-end hits)
I also get people looking for Coconut Grove Playhouse stories and auditions, but you expect that.
It's not the blog I envisioned, but I'm proud of it nonetheless. I think it's becoming a touchstone for people who are interested in theater.
So thank you for your interest! Keep going to the theatre!
And if you're interested in contributing, email me at cljahn AT netscape DOT net.