Saturday, April 26, 2008

Is this happening in your neck of the woods?

I will share my thoughts in a future post, but it begs the question--is it really a bad thing that some theatre companies are closing their doors? is this a "market adjustment" to equalize supply and demand?

From this Wednesday's Washington Post:

More Shows, Fewer Showgoers
Helen Hayes Group Cites Increase of 402 Performances, Decrease of 36,000 Patrons
By Jane Horwitz
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, April 23, 2008; Page C05

The number of stage performances and theater companies in and around Washington went up last year, while overall attendance dropped 1.9 percent, according to statistics from the Helen Hayes Awards organization.

Despite that dip, 2007 was the busiest year since the first tally in 1985, the Hayes group said, with 67 professional companies presenting 8,050 performances of 454 shows. That is an increase from 2006 of three companies, 402 performances and 20 shows. (These figures represent all area professional theaters, not just those eligible for Hayes Awards, but do not include attendance for the Capital Fringe Festival, which drew 19,000 people.) Metropolitan Washington is a busier theater district than the Chicago area, according to Hayes Executive Director Linda Levy Grossman. Though Chicago has more theater companies, "the D.C. area still does more work," she noted via e-mail.

Even so, derrieres in seats numbered about 36,000 fewer in 2007, the Hayes staff reported, with 1,908,557 people attending shows. The dip in comparison with 2006 adds more weight to the conventional wisdom that the audience isn't quite keeping up with the burgeoning theater community. Attendance also dipped by about 1.2 percent from 2005 to 2006, much less than the 8.5 percent drop the previous year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think its a balancing effect of a soft economy. There have been so many unskilled companies who were receiving large chunks of monies one or two people to stay afloat. They were lucky because we had a great economy which cause individuals to be very generous- maybe too generous. That is fine for a few years, but eventually there either needs to be community fiscal support, or the actors need to realize they aren't that good, and shouldn't quit their day jobs.