The findings were pretty interesting, especially when it came to what kept people from seeing more theatre. Here is my extremely unscientific analysis of the findings:
- Most people (two-thirds of respondents) see plays once or twice a year, or once every few years.
- There's a strong preference for musical theatre (67% of respondents) followed by classics and modern stuff (57% and 50% of respondents, respectively), but there's also a good audience for quirky, off-the-wall stuff (48% of respondents) that doesn't happen all the time.
- The biggest hurdle to attendance are price (almost 75%)and transportation (almost 35%). Surprisingly, a good third of people said that having no one to go with (almost 30%) and not knowing what's playing (about one-third of respondents). In addition, lack of access for people with disabilities (wheelchair access, closed captioning for the hearing-impaired, etc.) was also something that impacts some people.
- After making it cheaper and bringing it closer, most people (38%) want more help to find out what's on stage.
- A huge majority of people (almost two-thirds) are willing to pay around $20 for a ticket. For people with a bigger entertainment budget, that jumps to around $50 (20%). So that means 80% of people are going to shell out for tickets that cost, at most, $50.
- A huge chunk of people (60%) are willing to travel up to one hour to see a play.
- If money, time, and location were not an issue, most people (70%) would see one or two plays per month or 3 to 5 plays a year. A good fifth of them would even go weekly.
- Representation of people of color and LGBTQ people is something that gets brought up when people ask what it would take to get them to see more plays.
- People want to see more theatre, but pricing and scheduling often makes that difficult.
When asked about what would get them to see more theatre, a couple of people made a very interesting suggestion: make recordings and/or livestreams of shows available like the MET and MTV Unplugged (remember them?).
This is gravy for a starving artist like me who's practically reattached my umbilical cord to a wifi connection because that's something I said I wanted to do, and more than once at that.
The only barrier, of course, is finding an affordable option (read: has starving artist prices) that also makes it easy for people to attend.
Can someone help me out here?