A group of six Island professional theatre companies have come together to form the Professional Theatre Network of PEI in order to share resources, collaborate, and work with government, all with the purpose of furthering professional theatre on the Island. The six companies are The Charlottetown Festival, The Guild, Harbourfront Theatre, Victoria Playhouse, Watermark Theatre, and Young at Heart.
These companies collectively hire approximately 500 full time, part time, and seasonal workers each year and they spend over $5.5 million annually, proving that professional theatre is a major employer and economic contributor to the Island. The group defines professional theatres as organizations that strive for artistic excellence and in which the artists are consistently paid for their work at a Canadian Actors’ Equity and Associated Designers of Canada standard or its equivalent.
The PTN are planning and have planned several new initiatives. First and foremost is the desire to rally government and corporate support for a large scale marketing initiative promoting Prince Edward Island as a theatre destination. Similar to previous campaigns featuring golf courses and local food, the PTN sees professional theatre as a way to draw more tourists to the Island.
This year, the PTN, along with governmental agencies, began a Mentorship Program in which 16 interns were trained this summer with theatres across the Island. This program will continue into 2017 and beyond.
The PTN is also looking at new ways to offer packaged ticket offers where audience members may buy a “Theatre Passport” to see productions at numerous theatres throughout the summer months. Other coordinated ticketing possibilities are also being explored.
Possible collaboration opportunities include joint Events (March 27th), joint marketing opportunities, additional training or development partnerships, and sharing resources whenever possible. A theatre blog has been launched at http://www.peitheatre.com as a way to promote all the theatres productions at one location.
In addition to their monthly meetings, representatives of the PTN have already, and will continue, to attend outside meetings and conferences voicing the concerns and wishes of the group, all in the hopes of furthering attendance to theatrical events and fueling the provincial economy.
For further information and/or to set up an interview with any of the member theatre companies please contact Catherine O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-393-9419.