Fans join in with #LoveTheatreDay

Traverse Theatre Scotland's New Writing Theatre; at Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Image © Ed and Eddie on Flickr under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Today theatre venues and production companies from all over the world celebrate #LoveTheatreDay. Theatre fans and professionals are invited to share their appreciation for the performing arts online.

Over 700 theatres in 22 countries are signed up to take part, alongside several museums and art galleries.

This year the event, which was born on Twitter, is also expected to spread to Instagram, Facebook Live and Snapchat.

The digital venture has teamed up with the theatre industry magazine The Stage for the first time to make sure that as many groups and organisations take part as possible.

The Audience Agency last year reported that although an estimated 40% of English households go to watch live productions, only 15% attend the theatre more than once a year.

Their research also indicated that people are least likely to recommend theatre to their friends compared with other art forms.

Mar Dixon, co-founder of #LoveTheatreDay, believes that the industry suffers from a stuffy and elitist stereotype that puts people off going to shows.

She said: “It’s about highlighting the fact that theatres are approachable. They are for everybody.”

Theatre practitioners can give audiences new insights into their work using three separate hashtags throughout the day.

Between 10am and 12pm, organisations will put out rarely seen behind-the-scenes content using #Backstage.

Audiences can question creative teams directly about their work with #AskATheatre from 3pm to 5pm.

#Showtime will demonstrate what happens offstage while a performance is ongoing and invites fans to talk about what they are seeing tonight from 7pm until 10pm.

#LoveTheatreDay was first set up in 2014 in response to cuts to arts funding, which had fallen by 11% since 2011.

Dixon believes today gives theatre professionals an opportunity to show why their work is valuable and deserves financial support.

“Theatre professionals are just as important as bankers,” she said. “The chance to share stories is essential.”

(Photo Credit: Ed and Eddie)