The Toodyay Theatre Group restricted their memberships to adults. However, after noticing that their members were ageing, they decided that they needed a fresh approach to the group’s activities. When the production of their new musical, Footloose, started, they decided to engage children. Through this, they soon noticed a significant increase in ticket sales and a significant change in the group culture. The Toodyay Theatre Group was then approached by the Shire of Toodyay to participate in the Inclusive Community Program to which they accepted.
As a result of the increased interest from young people, they began by offering $5 annual memberships to encourage a youth-only production where young people could access lead roles in performances.
This opportunity not only brought in a number of new performing members, but also their families and friends who would assist in backstage roles. The flow on effect of this meant that adult members began to engage more with young people within the community and the group began to flourish.
What happened next:
The Toodyay Theatre Group was able to open new income streams which resulted in major upgrades to their audio visual equipment, costumes and set design.
Some of their other achievements include:
- Increase in memberships
- Increase in performance ticket sales (Over 800 tickets sold in 2018!)
- Partnerships with organisations such as the Shire of Toodyay’s Toodyay Community Program, Toodyay District High School, Toodyay Community Resource Centre & Toodyay Chamber of Commerce.
- Increased community presence
- Increase youth engagement resulting in increased mental health benefits and sense of belonging within members