In a recent study released by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), theatregoers listed Cost and Time as barriers to attending arts events like theatre. This season, we are committed to tackling these barriers through The Welcome Project we announced late last fall.
Cost always factors into all our decision-making, unless you’re Bill Gates in which case you can skip this section. Cost is definitely a barrier to things like theatre because seeing a play is not essential and is often viewed as a luxury. Plus, the unlimited number of low or no-cost options including movies, Netflix, YouTube, and others makes competition for your ‘entertainment dollar’ fierce.
Personally, I have always been dismayed at the complex system of purchasing theatre tickets. You go to a theatre’s website and find a range of prices, but you never know exactly what you’ll pay until you checkout because the ticket cost varies by performance time, date, seat location, and often when you buy within a particular run of a show.
Why do we make it so difficult to buy tickets? Isn’t there a simpler way?
Yes. And, that’s why this season Gloucester Stage has lowered its ticket price to just $28 for all seats at all performances. We’ve done away with special discounts and variable pricing and cut our prices as low as possible, hoping to make seeing a show at our theatre easier and more affordable. The new $28 ticket price represents a 30% savings off the regular $40 ticket last season, and a 20% savings for seniors and students.
As a token of appreciation to our local fans we will still offer a special Cape Ann Night for each show. And, to make theatre more affordable for young people we are reserving 10 seats for every show that will be available to anyone age 25 or younger for just $1 per seat. Otherwise, it’s one low $28 ticket for everybody.
Time is a difficult problem for us to solve; after all, we can’t add hours to the day or rearrange your schedule. But, what we can do is perform more shows and alter our curtain to make it more convenient for you to attend. This season, we have added more shows, longer runs, and introduced a new curtain time (7:30pm evening performances and 2pm matinees) so you can find a little time to spend with us.
Live theatre exists only when there is an audience and those of us who create theatre have to do everything we can to welcome you to the experience over and over again. There is something unique, and dare I say special, about a live theatre performance that can’t be matched by going to a movie or staying home watching TV. Individual performances are shaped by the reactions of the audience and every performance varies ever-so-slightly making every show different.
The Power of Live Theatre. There’s nothing like it. And, we hope this season you will take advantage of our lower ticket prices, additional shows, and earlier curtain times. There’s nothing better than looking out from the stage and seeing a full house. I look forward to seeing you there.
*GSC Blog posts are the select opinions of individual employees and may not necessarily reflect the views of Gloucester Stage as a whole.