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March 17, 2008


Chris Casquilho

I always feel like I'm sitting in a boat on a fog-shrouded sea when I try to figure out why things happen in theatre trends - especially when the discussion turns to meta-trends. It's only in the last few decades that anyone has bothered to accumulate numbers in a systematic fashion, (say, the TCG reports) - but even these seem heavy on stats and low on explanations. So we're left to skate down one of the slipperiest speculative slopes I've ever seen - why didn't the show sell better? Where did the audience go?

Is it possible that among the reasons subscribers wandered away to the movies was, that after entering into a contract with the theatres, the subscribers' expectations were gradually disappointed by either too much of the same, or, conversely, too much of the different? What level of culpability do the theatres share in dissolution of this relationship?

Rolando Teco

The subscriber question is complex. I do think there is a tipping point, after which people rush to subscribe in order to secure good seats. Take for example, Roundabout here in New York. Everyone knows that unless you subscribe, you'll be shut out of good seats. Period. They're that popular.

Maybe one strategy for increasing subsribers is to reduce the number of performances of any given show, thus increasing competition for great seats.

Is that a nutty idea?

- Rolando Teco
(of Extra Criticum dot com)

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