The other day, we had the opportunity to meet with one of our performing arts program book clients right down the road from us, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has been on a tear lately. They are ready to unveil their brand new facility in the Over-the-Rhine District.

We were invited to come down and get a sneak peak of their new facility by Executive Director Jay Woffington and Director of Marketing and Sales for the company, Jeanna Vella.

For those not familiar with Jay Woffington, Jay has an extensive background in marketing and when you talk to him about the arts, he brings a whole new experience because of his undeniable excitement about performing arts and the future it has.

Our crew here at Onstage thinks pretty highly of Jay, as well as Jeanna for her digital savviness. So much so, both Jay and Jeanna have graciously agreed to help us bring our mobile product from V 1.0 to V Two Point Kick-Ass! But I digress.

What About Bob’s Bar?

As we roll into Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s new facility, there are crew workers all around us banging, hammering, drilling and what have you.

We finally find Jay and after he hands us hardhats to put on, the first words out of his mouth are “hard to believe we’re having a black tie gala here in 12 days!”

As we all picked up our jaws from the concrete, Jay says “come on I’ll show you around.”  “The seating, as well as the bar, is supposed to be installed today.”

All I heard was “bar!”

Jay starts our tour from behind the stage and it is mammoth, to say the least.

We then walk onto the brand new stage. To call it beautiful would be an understatement. It was the coolest stage and theatre I think I had ever seen. It wasn’t too big, and it wasn’t too small. It was just right.

As Jay would go on to explain, the very stage we were standing on also dropped down several more feet to handle even more seating when the performance called for it.

There was not a bad seat in the house, and it was all designed that way.

Another cool design feature of the theatre was a lot of reclaimed wood throughout. It made you feel like stepping back in time, all while standing in a state-of-the-art facility.

“This way,” Jay says.

As we turn the corner, there it was—It was like angels singing!

It was the most unbelievable bar I had ever seen. The bar was a focal point of the lobby and it sat right in front of floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out onto the sidewalk.

Carved into the side of the reclaimed wood that made up this big beautiful bar was the name “Bob’s Bar.”

I joked, why isn’t it “Jay’s Bar?” Jay went on to explain that Bob and his family are long time supporters of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, hence the big, beautiful bar, and his name on it!

I thought to myself, I don’t know who this Bob is, but I love Bob!

I could only imagine the good times Bob’s Bar is going to see throughout its new life.

Which got me thinking. This is what the performing arts is all about. Not only are the performing arts in our lives to see great live performances, but they are also a gathering place to meet and mingle with friends, and strangers, and to just have a great time out. Even if it is for just one night, or several nights if a season ticket holder.

And this is exactly the type of atmosphere that we try to convey to potential advertisers about the magic that happens at live performances. It is this atmosphere that makes performing arts advertising so powerful. But, once again, I digress.

As I thought some more, something tells me that the sheer beauty of Bob’s Bar, as well as the strategic placement of Bob’s Bar, was all intentional on Jay’s part. I mean, who wouldn’t want to come in and have a drink at that bar? And once they come in, who wouldn’t be intrigued about Shakespeare? Perhaps so intrigued, they buy some tickets, or even season tickets, for that matter.

As I said, Jay has a marketing background, and that is simply great marketing. Good selling, Jay!


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