Hmm. Last night I went to see a physical theatre show (a very classy one - if Kage Physical Theatre ever come your way, go see it). The set was a boxing ring, the theme was masculinity, the sound was inventive, the lighting fantastic, the movement/choreography beautiful, and the result so much more interesting than I had expected. The theatre (I guess, 200-300 seats? the format was different from usual) was packed to the gills with young people - even the balconies were full - theatre arts students etc, so around 16-18 - and when it finished they all went crazy, whooping and standing up and cheering.
I reckon that's how you "save" theatre - you put on good, live theatre that doesn't cheat people, that shows them how exciting theatre can be, and how honest, and make sure young people see it. And maybe then they'll come back.
Absolutely! Hear! Hear! Couldn't agree more! But... (you knew there had to be a but, right?) how many of those sixteen to eighteen year olds would have been in that theatre if tickets were, say, $50 each? An idea like pre-show ads, or pre-show endorsements of other shows, is a way of leveraging money so as to keep ticket prices low and accessible.
But the question I want to know the answer to is: how did this theatre get word out to this group of kids? And second, is there a way to reach that same group who aren't theatre arts students? As great as it is that these kids were seeing a play (and don't get me wrong: it IS great), from another perspective it is yet another example of artists theatre people playing theatre to other theatre people. How can we widen the circle?
You paint and exciting picture, Alison -- tell me more!