Hope in numbers

It’s funny. Once a show opens, the producers stop thinking about meaning and start obsessing about money. How’s that for a confession? All we do is look at the box office. “How did we do today? Where will we wind up? Think we’ll make budget? How far under? How much over?” And with that kind of obsessive misplacement of artistic priorities, a person can lose touch with a show.

So I’ve extended an invitation to one of our actors to keep something of a performer’s diary/update for us. We’ll see what comes back. Actors become the stewards of a show’s soul, as all the other contributing artists peel back or press on with the next assignments. The actor brings full attention and full, in-the-moment engagement to the pulsating core of a play on a nightly basis as it grows in front of the audience. While the producers read the reports. And take bets about where we’ll wind up. keep reading

Not completely true, the level of mercenary detachment I’m suggesting. We’ll have lots of time for discussions with audiences on Sundays. Thursday night talk-backs either in the theater or schmoozing after as part of our Playdate reception series. But the pullback is real. As is the keeping track of money.

And the good news to continue to share is that we’re selling tickets. I don’t think it appropriate to share exact numbers, but for us, bringing in over $1000 a day in single ticket sales is respectable. And there are some days when, in order to make budget, we’ll have to do better than that, but in general, if we can stay away from stinker days and grow the advance at a steady clip we can rest easier about where we’ll end up.

You can tell on this show that the word of mouth is amazing because… We sold a ton of seats on Monday and Tuesday. With no ads in the paper, and no reviews really either. People just heard from friends who’d seen the show over the weekend. They told their friends. And the numbers started moving.

We’re hoping for lots more of that for the next 24 days (but who’s counting?).