Gulfshore Playhouse increases social media efforts with new blog, Facebook giveaways

Naples theater to hand out merchandise, tickets via facebook.com/gulfshoreplayhouse

Blanche DuBois, played by Claire Brownell, right, and Stella Kowalski, played by Gwen Ellis, perform during a dress rehearsal for Gulfshore Playhouse's 'A Streetcar Named Desire' during the theater's 2011-12 season. Heading into 2012-13, Gulfshore Playhouse plans a major push on social media, including Facebook contests, giveaways and a much more active presence on their Facebook page at facebook.com/gulfshoreplayhouse. FILE PHOTO

Photo by JASON EASTERLY

Blanche DuBois, played by Claire Brownell, right, and Stella Kowalski, played by Gwen Ellis, perform during a dress rehearsal for Gulfshore Playhouse's "A Streetcar Named Desire" during the theater's 2011-12 season. Heading into 2012-13, Gulfshore Playhouse plans a major push on social media, including Facebook contests, giveaways and a much more active presence on their Facebook page at facebook.com/gulfshoreplayhouse. FILE PHOTO

Gulfshore Playhouse opens its season with "Art" and "God of Carnage;" the shows will run in repertory from Oct. 20 - Nov. 18. For tickets and more information, go online to gulfshoreplayhouse.org, call (239) 261-PLAY (7529) or email info@gulfshoreplayhouse.org.

— Gulfshore Playhouse launched into theatre season with a social media splash this past week.

Cast members for the theater's pair of sizzling Yasmina Reza shows "Art" and "God of Carnage" hit town on Monday. A half-dozen interns arrived last week - leaving the team's Norris Center office packed to the gills. Photos attested to the crowd. A new blog - The Playhouse Perspective (gulfshoreplayhouse.wordpress.com) - made its Internet debut.

And on Monday, word spread about contests, free tickets and merchandise to be given away via the Gulfshore Playhouse Facebook page (facebook.com/gulfshoreplayhouse).

"This was one example of our "Team Work Makes the Dream Work" philosophy," Gulfshore Playhouse marketing coordinator Tristan Carter said.

Carter said that a discussion about launching contests via the group's Facebook page started over the summer between producing artistic director Kristen Coury, web designer Kate Gombos and audience services manager Nathan Renner-Johnson.

"At our staff meeting last week, we took some time to brainstorm ideas as a group and it really took form," Carter said.

Gulfshore Playhouse plans to give away hats, mugs, shirts, bags - all emblazoned with the theater's logo. Giveaways also include tickets to shows in a season that includes "I Am My Own Wife," "The Whipping Man," "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "Master Class."

"It will be a different prize every month," Carter promises.

In addition to contests, Carter said that Gulfshore Playhouse plans to ramp up their Facebook presence throughout the coming season. Future plans include specific "Like Us on Facebook" signs at all performances, links in emails and blog posts and specific mentions in other marketing materials.

Carter said the goal is to make the Gulfshore Playhouse Facebook page "accessible and fun."

"[On Facebook] We hope to make more interactive posts where people can answer questions and have discussions as well as see more of what's going on on a day-to-day basis behind the scenes," Carter said.

New theatre administration intern Maura Lohan will manage the majority of content on the Gulfshore Playhouse Facebook page.

Find the Gulfshore Playhouse Facebook page at facebook.com/gulfshoreplayhouse.

Broadway Palm in Fort Myers has found similar success on Facebook. A campaign last fall, coordinated with children's show "Pinkalicious" and breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure, saw the theater race toward 5,000 fans.

Broadway Palm (facebook.com/broadwaypalm) now boasts more than 6,100 Facebook fans, attracts dozens of comments and likes per posts and has regular contests and ticket giveaways.

Gulfshore Playhouse opens its season with "Art" and "God of Carnage;" the shows will run in repertory from Oct. 20 - Nov. 18. For tickets and more information, go online to gulfshoreplayhouse.org, call (239) 261-PLAY (7529) or email info@gulfshoreplayhouse.org.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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