We’ve changed our pricing structure 3 times in 20 years. We’ve always done it out of necessity, and this time is no different.
After what has been one of the most challenging years we’ve ever faced as an organization, we’ve come to the decision to alter our pricing in two ways. If you follow the company closely you likely know well that we started the season with a significant loss due to Hurricane Irma and we’ve had blow after blow since, culminating in the news that our funding from the State of Florida (along with 489 other arts organizations) has been slashed over 90% for the coming season. If we cannot find the private, corporate, or government funds to help subsidize the work we do our only other option is to re-assess our pricing. However, we firmly believe that it is a vital part of our mission to keep our work accessible to as many people as possible, and these solutions will not change that. Please don’t mistake this as a simple price increase, we’re also trimming back. The shows in our 2018-19 season have less folks in them, which clearly means we have less payroll to worry about and we’ve put a solid plan together to get the most bang for our buck in terms of the money we spend on production values. Our core artists really knuckled-down in our play selection meetings this year to address our very real needs while still maintaining a very high-quality season that celebrates our 20 years in style. We’ve also, unfortunately, had to cut back the total number of weekday matinees we offer to middle and high schools because, without a partner, we cannot subsidize these on our own as we did in 17-18. So here are the new changes:
We’re changing the starting price of preview performances from $15 to $18. This is a very small increase and still keeps us very much in line with the median pricing of professional theaters in the region. We’ve always prided ourselves that our previews are among the most accessible in the area, and we this shift does not alter that.
We’re also moving to a dynamic pricing model for all regular performances. Our single tickets will start at $29.50 for all performances, and will increase incrementally by performance based on demand.
We’ve done a lot of research on this (locally, nationally, internationally), and the dynamic pricing model has made a major impact on small to medium sized not for profit theaters like Jobsite, and through incremental amounts has made a difference to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per year. We tested this with 1984, and in the end we increased pricing on 11 of 17 shows within the week of the specific performance. Clearly this will always be dictated by the title and the night of the week. For instance Thursdays are usually our smallest houses while Saturdays and Sundays often sell out in advance.
We’re still committed to providing our season pass holders the best possible value and the best possible benefits. We have not changed our season ticket pricing, and so picking one of those up not only assures you a discount of AT LEAST 30% (and up to 70%) on the tickets, but a whole lot of dough in reduced fees at the box office (not to mention another shot at winning Hamilton tickets). Tickets as part of the season pass are $21.65 each, inclusive of fees. Season ticket holders can also move around freely when life gets in the way, exchanging their tickets to any other night in the run provided we have seats available to seat them, and this year will also get a free “buddy pass” per season pass in the account. These are just a few of the great benefits we’re offering to say thank you to our best customers.
How will dynamic pricing work? Well, as certain performances begin to fill up and inventory becomes limited the cost of the remaining seats for that performance will be adjusted. It’s that simple. Instead of now advertising that all of our seats are $29.50, we say “Today, tickets start at $29.50.” So, you may be looking online for tickets to a Saturday night performance of Dancing at Lughnasa and notice that they are $39.50, but when you check on the Thursday night before it those seats may only be $29.50 because the demand is lower.
We will always take care of our season pass holders, we hope that this is an even greater incentive to now pick one up. Also, folks who make a plan early and book single tickets in advance should have no problem securing a ticket at our lowest single ticket price.
We’re working on a very exciting plan for the 19-20 season, we just couldn’t get it worked out in time for the 18-19 onsale: reserved, or at least preferred, seating in the Shimberg Playhouse is coming!
Thank you for your continued support of Jobsite!