A debate is raging these days over how to revive the supposedly moribund art form of theatre. To me, of course, it ain't moribund; it's just too expensive. I found some support for my view in this article in today's Times, about the Signature Theater Company, which dedicates each season to a single playwright's work. Signature is even better known, however, for its low ticket prices - last year $15, this year $20 (with help from a generous corporate sponsor, Time Warner - I'll try to find out who to write to to thank them - as well as a board member).
The "money" quote (as it were):
For the last two seasons Signature charged $15 for every seat through a deal with Time Warner, the lead sponsor of the ticket initiative. (When shows are extended, tickets go back up to the normal price, which was $55 last season and will be $65 in the coming four.)
James Houghton, the Signature’s artistic director, said the ticket initiative was an unambiguous success, with all productions selling out, some within 48 hours. According to surveys conducted at the theater, half of the ticket buyers were new to the Signature, a quarter earned less than $50,000 a year, and a fifth were under 35.