Yesterday on the 22nd of April 2013, Brisbane greeted a new member to its theatre company family with the project launch of 'Your Theatre CO"

The brain-child of accomplished theatre performers and designers Samuel Klinger and Jeremy Hansen "Your Theatre CO" promises to make a big splash in the Brisbane professional theatre scene. As performers and designers, Klinger and Hansen are aware of the mounting problems that young and aspiring theatre performers face when trying to achieve a professional career in the performing arts.

Saddened by what they perceive as an absence of professional employment opportunities for theatre performers in Brisbane and the increasing exodus of young, emerging talent to cities such as Sydney or Melbourne or overseas Kilnger and Hansen developed a project concept that would increase employment options for performers in Brisbane whilst empowering audiences to have active speaking-rights in the kind of theatre they create.

Your Theatre CO uses the steadily more popular technique of crowdfunding – promoting their theatre and shows to an online social media audience who invest. The investors don't just get the satisfaction of helping an emerging theatre company however and are included in the theatre company's program design; in the same way shareholders are consulted on company decisions.

An intuitive and 21st century savvy blend of social media marketing, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding – Your Theatre CO promises that audiences will get to pick the shows and even the casts that they want to see in production.

Klinger and Hansen envisage a dual-prong approach that caters to the gap in employment possibilities for Brisbane based talents and empowerment for a Brisbane audience in offering patrons something beyond the normal VIP privileges for benefactors and supporters. Klinger and Hansen appear to be keenly aware that more traditional and 'last-century' modes of theatre marketing such as subscriber models and corporate/wealthy benefactors are no longer viable or inclusive models of sustainable arts-business practice and in favour they adopt 21st century digital marketing techniques and the ideal of a crowdfunded project with an egalitarian creative process for all investors.

In attendance to celebrate and lend their support to the launch were Aussie acting star Conrad Coleby, Brisbane local musical theatre star Matty Johnston, musical theatre star here and abroad Samantha Hardgrave and young star of 'Annie" Chloe Thiel.

Your Theatre CO project is now live and looking for crowd-sponsors as well as creatives who want to get on board to give the project a leg up. 

Details are available on their Facebook site http://www.facebook.com/yourtheatreco/info or their website http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/your-theatre-co-putting-you-in-the-directors-seat

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