a dollar a minute

Let me preface this by saying: I understand self-producing is expensive and renting a theater is expensive. But people still want to get their money’s worth.

Last week I went to see a one-act play in which a friend was acting. The piece was interesting, but not amazing. Regardless, my friend did a great job. She was funny, charismatic and really had me engrossed. She was the best part about the show.

But the show was $20. And the piece was a half hour long. When the lights went up, I expected either an intermission and another act or gold shavings to fall out of my program.

I thought to myself, okay. This is another reason why people don’t see shows. If you invite a friend outside of the theater world to see your show, and it costs $20 and it’s a half hour – they leave that theater with a bad impression of what they get for their money when they see a play.

That’s ridiculous. I mean, that’s almost a dollar a minute.

As I did, they chalk to up to 1) supporting a friend and 2) charity  – supporting artists struggling to make a living. But if the experience is mainly perceived this way, how can we really grow the audience base? People want to get an experience for their money. Hence, while the numbers on movie going is down, people will pay to see films like Avatar, and certainly Tron will be the same way.



One thought on “a dollar a minute

  1. I recently saw a show at a major theater (tho a smaller one) on the West Coast that was $50 and change for a seat.

    It was a very very good show with bare sets and only 3 actors.

    I had been shocked by the cost when purchasing and found myself wondering while watching the play if I’d pay each of the actors $20 to come do the piece in my living room.

    The answer was Yes, but it bothered me that I even HAD the question.

    I mean, I love theatre, but it’s not the thing you want any audience member to be thinking about.

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