Like most small theatre companies, Handwritten Productions depends on the passion of it’s creators to function. The company, now four years old, survives in a niche of the young, not yet established artists of Seattle. The founders found themselves in a state post-undergraduate degree, trying to make connections and work around the city, yet not working on projects that excited them. Working with minimal resources, they decided to produce a play, and create the work they wanted.
Drawing from the existing theatre market of Seattle, the company looks for actors and artists for each show trying to make their mark. Julia, one of the founders, described to me that tickets for the performances mainly come from word of mouth, depending on company members to spread the word about the show. They incorporate the use of printed materials like postcards, digital media like email and Facebook. The mailing list allows the company to release reviews, show announcements and audition notices. Looking at the website, each show has been reviewed a few times by bloggers, yet the company has not had yet been established enough to interest the print media of Seattle. Julia did comment that Facebook was more effective four years ago when they started than it is now. She felt that users of the social media site are more constantly inundated with invites and shares that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Julia also mentioned that the goal of the company is to provide the ideal mix of good process for the makers, and still create a product that appeals to the theatre community at large. Her ideal audience outcome is that two people can exit the show with two very different opinions and have a good debate about the issues raised by the play.