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Case StudiesRoyal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

Accessing new diverse audiences and increasing revenues

The Brief

The RSC commissioned in-depth research to understand how theatre goers and non-goers from ethnic minority communities spend their leisure time, and to understand the role that the arts play in their lives, so that the RSC could attract and engage more diverse audiences.

The research examined how people from ethnic minority backgrounds perceived the theatre in general and the RSC in particular. It examined attitudes to programming and casting, reactions to promotion, marketing and communications material, among other topics. It captured ethnic minority people’s experiences at theatre venues: their ‘in-the-moment’ reactions to the social and physical environment, as well as their reactions to plays.

The challenges they faced

  • Capturing theatre experiences in-the-moment
  • Disentangling perceptions and expectations from actual experiences of the RSC
  • Understanding the range of factors that explain ethnic minority under-representation
  • Developing an encompassing, evidence-based strategy to increase and diversify attendance and increase revenues

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Royal Shakespeare company (RSC)

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