Sunday, April 28, 2013

WSJ Article - The Falling Apart of the Theater Subscription Model

From Ms. X, an artistic director of an undisclosed theater company in Terry Teachout's WSJ article - Theater's Expiring Subscription Model
Then the subscription model fell apart, for a lot of reasons. Some subscribers got too busy, or too old, to commit in advance to five shows on specific dates. Some of them couldn't afford to buy all five in one pop anymore. And young people never have gotten in the habit of subscribing to anything. On demand, that's their motto. Anyway, it all added up to the same thing: We had to start selling individual shows instead of a package. When that happened, everything changed. Instead of trusting us to give them something good, people started playing it safe, and we had to play safe with them. We didn't have any choice. The last time I tried putting on a classical revival, our single-ticket sales dropped by nearly half. And we've had to start using name actors as often as we can. Doesn't matter what the show is: It's the star that sells, not the play. 

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