Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Innovation in Theatre -- Not Just for the Artistic Departments Anymore!

As the NYTimes writes today, a private Chicago philanthropic institution recently made an innovative gift to the Collaboraction production company. Patrons dissatisfied with Migdalia Cruz’s darkly magical play “El Grito del Bronx” were offered their money back.

I love this acknowledgement of performing arts administrators and chartiable organization officers working hard to advance business operations. Literary, design, and artistic departments are always moving their efforts forward in creative directions. This kind of non-traditional thought is both common and valuable on the management side, as well.

A lot has been made of the next generation of live theater audiences. We worry, as a community, if we will have the kinds of loyal ticket purchases and patronships Greatest Generation and Baby Boom artists enjoyed. I think we will. We will just establish those relationships in new, previously unexpected ways. Imagine it with me: box office revenue from fans who've never stood in line at a physical box office. Consider this and consider having a fun brainstorming, Writers' Workshop-style chat with your favorite Arts Administrator about the possibilities it presents.

Full disclosure: My good friends at Teatro Vista are prominently featured in the article. You can check out the full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/theater/01refund.html.

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