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News 2016

News 2016: (US) American Theatre Article: "Is the Ticket Price Right?" (by Marshall Jones III, Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

"As a college student studying theatre in the early 1980s, I frequently paid 50 cents to take PATH to New York, stand on line at the TKTS booth in Duffy Square, and pay $12.50 to see a Broadway show. (A regular ticket was $25.) Venturing into midtown Manhattan during the Reagan presidency was an adventure, as you had to make your way through homeless people living in the street and avoid eye contact with the ladies of the night. Half the Broadway theatres were dark and shuttered. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, so young artists and enthusiasts had easy access to plays, which also served as an extended classroom for emerging artists. ...

Today, every single Broadway theatre is booked, while Hamilton set a record by grossing more than $3.3 million in one week of eight performances. (That’s an average ticket cost of $303!) Premium tickets for Broadway shows can cost north of $200. Adjusting for inflation, the $25 ticket in 1984 should cost only about $58 today. Something is not sufficiently aligned.

The questions I often ponder are: How do high ticket prices limit accessibility? How much profit is profitable? What impact does that have on exposing theatre to young people? Most professionals working in theatre have stories about attending shows during their youth. But what happens if youngsters are never exposed to live plays? How will they fall in love with this wonderful art form?" ...

Visit the American Theatre website to read the full and insightful article.