Strength in Numbers: A Report From Bay Area Theatre Week
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Posted by: Rotimi Agabiaka
by Rotimi Agbabiaka
Bay Area theatremakers have cause to celebrate as they look back on the inaugural Bay Area Theatre Week. The event, which ran from March 26 to April 7, represented a joint effort by theatre practitioners and tourism proponents to highlight the Bay Area’s robust theatre offerings and attract new audience members.
During the ten-day “week”, more than 50 participating theatre companies offered low-cost tickets—priced at $15, $25, or $35—to currently running shows and some companies offered the opportunity to purchase tickets to future shows at the discounted rate. Participating venues ranged from commercial houses like SHN Theatres to cabaret stages like Oasis and included large, mid-size, and small non-profit theatres: Berkeley Repertory Theatre to African-American Shakespeare Company, Magic Theatre to Theatre Rhino.
“It was a thrill to see the unity throughout the theatre community that helped to make the inaugural Bay Area Theatre Week a huge success!” says Randy Taradash, creative director and general manager of Feinstein’s at the Nikko and one of the core organizers.
The event’s producers—Theatre Bay Area, TodayTix, San Francisco Travel Association, and San Francisco Chronicle—hoped that the reduced price points would encourage residents and visitors to sample a variety of local theatre productions. The sales and participation numbers recorded by TodayTix suggest that the endeavor was a success.
“The opportunity to dive into the data that comes with the 4,000 tickets sold during BATW is an invaluable opportunity for all of us to learn, reaffirm, dispel, and creatively engage not only with our shared audiences, but with one another” says Tadarash.
Bay Area Theatre Week By The Numbers
60 participating shows representing 51 theater companies.
The Jungle at The Curran. Photo by Littlefang.
Almost 4,000 tickets sold, totaling to $114,500 in sales.
Yoga Play at San Francisco Playhouse. Photo by Jessica Palopoli.
Theatre Week attracted buyers from 322 California Zip Codes and 32 US States.
Helen at Theatre of Yugen. Photo by Devlin Shand.
10% of ticket buyers came from out of state.
Falsettos at SHN Theatres. Photo by Joan Marcus
60% of patrons made their purchase more than one week in advance of the performance, compared to 31% before the promotion of Theatre Week.
The Importance of Being Earnest at Aurora Theatre. Photo by David Allen.
58% increase in repeat purchasing since Theatre Week was announced.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat at Broadway by the Bay. Photo by Mark Kitaoka and Tracy Martin.
Approximately one in five Theatre Week buyers saw more than one Theatre Week show.
KILL THE DEBBIE DOWNERS! KILL THEM! KILL THEM! KILL THEM OFF at Shotgun Players. Photo by Robbie Sweeny.
Rotimi Agbabiaka is the Features Curator for Theatre Bay Area. He is an actor, writer, director, teaching artist, and a collective member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Learn more about him at rotimionline.com