The Theatres They Are a’Changing

(what an annoying title. Am off my game today. Moving on.)

Two articles in as many weeks on similar topics.

Toronto’s smaller theatres write a new script for success

“For years, Torontonians have tended to lump together Passe Muraille, Factory Theatre and Tarragon Theatre, the three mid-sized companies all founded around 1970, housed in downtown venues and dedicated to new Canadian plays. But as theatres find it increasingly difficult to draw audiences, the three Toronto stalwarts are questioning their relationship with theatregoers and with each other. Should each one do more to distinguish itself from the others? Or should the threesome sail together in the belief that a rising tide lifts all boats?”

and

Canadian Stage’s new mantra: Less is more

“The idea of shrinking on purpose or right-sizing an operation is right now very of the moment,” says Roger Gaudet, head of the theatre section of the Canada Council for the Arts. “We’re confronted with the paradox that even though our society in terms of population continues to grow, the economic picture is not necessarily continuing to grow; the model of continued growth is no longer sustainable. [Canadian Stage] is moving forward very quickly on something that everyone’s facing.

The idea of six or seven shows and a fundraiser has been changing for quite some time. A subscription is not longer buying into six or seven shows, or a standing date the last Wednesday of every month at a theatre. Subscriptions are now flex passes, pick-threes and such. You go when you want, if you want, you bring a friend at the last minute .

On one hand I do genuinely love this. It’s answering a request that has been made for ages. It’s new and exciting and for lack of a better term, keeping up with the times. The very word “subscription” is being redefined, as is the word “subscriber”. On the other hand as someone who anxiously studies ticket sales, walk ups etc it’s a new challenge to face and figure out. And it’s exciting.

I look forward to it.

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