We’re 10 years into the 21st Century and we in the theatre world are feeling some pressure. Pressure from the rest of the world, if not our audiences. In the 60’s and 70’s the regional theatre movement was in full swing and pioneered and then perfected their model of Show Business. The large houses, the ticket prices, the type of shows, the technology, the subscription packages.
Years later we’re in a society vastly different from the one created back then. The social and artistic climate — and let’s not forget technology — have evolved immensely. These large regional theatres have usually done their best to adapt with creating websites, updating their ticketing systems, even creating some web content. I can help but think we’ll reach a point where the times, the audience, and the technology will have shifted too far to continue to support this business model.
I wish I knew, I can’t predict the future any more than the next guy. But I’m more than willing to experiment. I’m in the middle of one now, as Coeurage Theatre Company continually offers “pay what you want” tickets. Other companies are starting to offer more online behind the scenes content. Some are even creating theatre for the purpose of streaming the performances online. I’ve heard of places no longer offering subscriptions, and others offering ones that work more like gym memberships.
All I know is that theatre is here to stay. I can’t say what the advances in show business will be, but I’m looking forward to learning and experimenting.
What are your predictions? What innovations would you like to see?