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Price Your Theatre Right

We need to take a hard look at the value that our theatre productions are bringing to the lives of our audience. Why are we charging 80% more than the cost of a ticket to Cineplex Odeon?

bobbarkerLet’s talk about something that theatre-folk rarely like to talk about… It’s one of the 5 Ps of Marketing. Its starts with P and ends in RICE… No, it’s not a visit to a Japanese restaurant after a Venti Latte.

Price people. How do you come up with the cost of entry for your admiring patrons? From my experience creating indie theatre, we take a glance at Now Magazine and notice the frequency of tickets costing $20… then we say, “We’ll charge $20 a ticket”, as though that’s some new found insight into how much money someone will pay for the witnessing of emerging artists trying to make it on their own. Sometimes I think we should pay them for not walking out at intermission.

We need to take a hard look at the value that our theatre productions are bringing to the lives of our audience. Why are we charging 80% more than the cost of a ticket to Cineplex Odeon where they can watch Zac Efron doing push-ups, while we eat 2000 calories worth of popcorn and hope to get a hand job from our date in the back row on a Wednesday afternoon? All of this for $12.50? That’s a god-damn steal!

Now, I must admit. My current obsession with price has everything to do with the 20 oz pint of Steamwhistle, which was advertised as 24 oz, that I just paid $12.20 for, taxes in. I paid it, but I’m not impressed, nor am I amused… and will I come back to this bar again? Probably not…

Now tell me, sweet theatre creator, is this the kind of reaction you want your audience to have when you charge $20 for a show that’s actually worth $15?

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Caleb McMullen

Written by Caleb McMullen

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheatreisforSuckers.com

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