In late April, a survey sent to Guthrie Audience members received 1,627 responses and aimed to answer three questions: 1) are arts/storytelling and the Guthrie Theater relevant to audiences now; 2) are Guthrie Theater-produced shows important to the Guthrie audience; and 3) how important is online artistic content for the Guthrie audience now? Upon analyzing survey results, the Humphrey School team recommends that Guthrie Leadership do the following: 1) maintain in-house productions as much as possible; 2) do not heavily invest in creating new online programming; 3) coordinate with Twin Cities arts institutions to communicate to a wider audience and build excitement for the arts when programs can safely resume. 61% of survey respondents were season ticket holders, so these results should be understood to reflect the opinions of Guthrie’s most committed audience members.
● For the Guthrie audience, the arts are relevant for themselves and the Twin Cities community right now. Arts and storytelling helps them feel connected at this time. The Guthrie audience primarily miss seeing plays, the physical space of the theater, and social components that accompany live theater. The arts matter now and live theater will matter in the future.
● The Guthrie audience cares deeply about in-house productions, and believes it deepens their connection to the wider Twin Cities artistic community. In-house production is an important factor in their decision to purchase tickets to the Guthrie.
● Many audience members engage with storytelling right now, but not with Guthrie’s Facebook content or with other institutions they previously engaged with in-person. There is little interest in new online content from the Guthrie Theater. There is a desire to see programs in-person.
Capstone paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Public Policy degree
Clinton, James; Soisuwan, Ganokporn.
“It is a lifeline to understanding what we are experiencing right now.” Hearing from the Guthrie Theater audience during a pandemic.
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