Online over­ture

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS - www.TheatreSan­

www.TheatreSan­, a new web­site for theater events

Santa Fe is known the world over for its vis­ual arts of­fer­ings, and lo­cals and tourists alike flock to the city’s bars for mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment on the week­ends, as well as to larger venues like the Santa Fe Opera and the Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter. But the Santa Fe theater scene is less well-known for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, in­clud­ing the pre­car­i­ous fi­nan­cial na­ture of the theater busi­ness, which causes groups to come and go, and some de­gree of in­fight­ing and com­pe­ti­tion among lo­cal theater groups, which in the past has caused them to func­tion more as si­los than as a co­he­sive com­mu­nity. “Up to now it’s been like herd­ing stray cats,” said Ar­gos Mac­Cal­lum, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Teatro Paraguas. He was a mem­ber of the Santa Fe Play­house board of di­rec­tors for al­most a decade.

With the launch of www.theatresan­, a web­site for all the­aters and theater groups in town, the dis­ar­ray is be­ing ad­dressed. Now po­ten­tial au­di­ence mem­bers and those in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved in lo­cal theater can find all the in­for­ma­tion they need in one place. The site was built with funds from a $20,000 grant from the City of Santa Fe Arts Com­mis­sion ($5,000 of which was spent on print advertising for the site launch) un­der the aus­pices of the Col­lab­o­ra­tive Arts Mar­ket­ing Pi­lot Pro­gram. Ac­cord­ing to an April news re­lease from the Arts Com­mis­sion, the pi­lot pro­gram was es­tab­lished to “gauge the po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ing city­wide multi-part­ner arts events.”

The Theatre Santa Fe Com­mit­tee, com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a va­ri­ety of lo­cal groups, con­tracted with Xyn­ergy, a web de­sign and online-mar­ket­ing com­pany based in town and in Al­bu­querque, for graphic de­sign and pro­gram­ming. Xyn­ergy also shaped the Theatre Santa Fe brand, a process that in­cluded mak­ing the de­ci­sion to spell “theatre” in the Bri­tish style, with the “r” be­fore the “e,” be­cause re­search showed that when seek­ing out per­form­ing arts events, more peo­ple search online for “theatre” than “theater.” The site went live on July 1 with 12 mem­ber the­aters, in­clud­ing Iron­weed Pro­duc­tions, Teatro Paraguas, Santa Fe Play­house, Theater Grottesco, and Theater­work. Mem­bers pay a $99 an­nual fee. Non­mem­ber the­aters can list events for free, and there are also sec­tions where lo­cal ac­tors, di­rec­tors, tech­ni­cal artists, and vol­un­teers can pay a small fee to be listed. All fees sup­port on­go­ing main­te­nance of the site. “We hope this raises the vis­i­bil­ity of theater for lo­cals and tourists, makes it eas­ier to find out what’s go­ing on,” Mac­Cal­lum said. “A com­mon web­site that lists ev­ery­thing will show that there is a scope to what’s be­ing done here, and that there is se­ri­ous work be­ing done here.”

Jen­nie Lewis, man­ager of the Santa Fe Play­house, was se­lected by the Theater Santa Fe Com­mit­tee to main­tain the web­site. She clar­i­fied for Pasatiempo that though the site is cur­rently be­ing co­or­di­nated fi­nan­cially through the Play­house, the goal is for it to rep­re­sent ev­ery­one, with no one theater or type of theater tak­ing the lead. As for her du­ties, she’s cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing with the com­mit­tee over whether or not site man­age­ment is a paid or vol­un­teer po­si­tion, a topic about which she’s am­biva­lent. “It would be nice to be paid for my work, but I’ve been work­ing in the Santa Fe theater com­mu­nity for 18 years, and I be­lieve in this new step,” she said. “So I’d also do it for free.”

For in­for­ma­tion about be­com­ing a mem­ber or list­ing your events on www.theatresan­, email info@theatresan­ — J.L.

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