It’s that time again! Season passes are at their best rate through July 31. Maybe you want to know why we make such a big deal out of them? I’ll try my best to explain.
Our 2022-23 season honors our past in order to secure our future by doubling-down on the kinds of shows that have defined Jobsite. The past two years have absolutely devastated small theater companies, and we’ve not been spared the damage.
Things (lumber, gas, fabric) are more expensive than ever, we have all-new costs to shoulder to mitigate the virus for artists and audiences (and we can still lose up to 2 weeks of work and all the money associated with it at the snap of a finger), and far fewer people are going to the theater (we’re around 32% of our typical pre-closure capacities). None of that is sustainable.
We’ve repeated that “the only way is through” and that’s led us to plan a slate of shows that we know are proven commodities, names that we don’t need to explain to people be that Dracula or Steve Martin (Picasso at Lapin Agile). Don’t get us wrong, these are still Jobsite shows, they’ve just got name-brand clout. Audiences have voted with their feet in resounding fashion since the re-opening, and so we’re serving up what we know they’re hungry for. We simply can no longer afford not to.
We’ve raised single tickets in an effort to help us stay ahead of costs. The pass, however, remains a steal at only $24.75 per show with no added fees. Single tickets to these shows start at $39.50 and increase by performance date and location (for the Jaeb) based on demand, plus single tickets are subject to fees added by the Straz Center. Single tickets to Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Romeo & Juliet this season went for as high as $74.50 before fees, and we know that shows like Hamlet and Misery will be able to do the same.
To be completely transparent, we hope this allows us to do 2 things at once: rebuild our season passholder base, giving us a cash injection going into the season, and then jump-start the important work of financial recovery through the earnings from single tickets to these popular titles.
Demand-based pricing only works if, well, there’s demand. As we’ve experimented with the model, we’ve noticed audiences don’t balk at higher single ticket prices when they wait until the last minute if it’s something popular. Related: no amount of discounting talks someone into a show that’s not in their mind a “sure thing.” So here we are …
I’m listing some FAQ’s below, if they help you make a decision. Got another question? Ask!
I’m too busy to have a season pass:
All shows in the 2022-23 season run at least a month (some can run for up to 6 weeks), and your passes are good for any night during the run — all exchanges are 100% free because we know life can be a mess — so you should always be able to find a day to come!
I just can’t make/don’t want to see <insert title>.
We get that. Not everything is for everyone, though we always hope our passholders will trust us and go along for the ride as we believe that every show has something special to offer. Still, YMMV, got it. If for any reason you can’t make a production you can transfer your seats to a friend or colleague (we’ll even handle that transfer for you), or you can always donate them back to us for a tax receipt and we will add the seats to the bank of tickets we provide artists and community members in need. Either way you look superduper generous and you’re still doing us a big solid!
I have seen some of these shows before.
Not likely the way we’ll do them. Dracula will be 22 years after our first staging, and Picasso 14. I can promise you that these productions will look nothing like what we did before (Dracula, for one, will be bigger-and-better and now in the Jaeb). LIZZIE is getting an new treatment in a stripped-down concert staging in the Shimberg after playing the Jaeb 7 years prior. Twilight was not offered as part of a prior Jobsite season, and very few people saw it as one of the first steps of re-opening.
Don’t I help more by picking up single tickets that cost more?
Not exactly. Not only will this pass save you money if you even only see 2-3 shows a year (and a ton of money if you tend to see most of our shows), having a pass provides meaningful support to us by giving us a cash infusion going into the season. The more passholders we have, the less we spend in both time and money on advertising single shows (which means that can all go into making them even better).
The more passholders, the more likely we can add performances and extend, which means there are more tickets to sell. So the little fish helps feed the big fish, if that makes sense. Passholders help get the ball rolling.
I still only want to see one or two plays, why don’t you sell a flex pass that lets me choose what I see?
Well, here’s the thing: flex passes actually hurt us at the end of the day. How’s that? Keeping it real: when people pick up a flex pass, they tend to only pick whatever the hottest title is and use all their “punches” or whatever for that. It’s not really helping us to offer 3, 4, or 5 discounted tickets to a show that was going to sell out anyway. We intentionally keep the pass low as we expect that there may be folks who won’t see every show, but they get the whole shebang.
On our budget side, each individual show is its own little property, and all of its expenses are tied to its revenues. So, one show doing GREAT does not really help a show that fails to find an audience.
I still only want to see one or two shows this season, and I’ll take my chances on what they cost when I get around to it. When will they go on sale?
Individual shows will go on sale various dates through the fall. We’re only offering passes for the summer. On sale dates for single shows will be announced later this summer.
I hate you do that flex pricing thing on single tickets. It’s unfair.
Not a question, but I’ll respond. We know this method is controversial for some. We chose not to for a number of years even though all other events at the Straz Center had been using it. When we made the adjustment we learned a lot. 1) People simply want what they want when they want it and price is not a barrier when a show is popular, 2) on the other side of that coin lowering prices in no way encourages meaningful sales to a show that’s not selling, and 3) the incremental revenue gains from doing things this way has helped us significantly in paying our artists better.
We offer a lot of ways for folks to get tickets at an affordable price. Accessibility is important to us. First of all, the pass. Preview tickets start at $18 (and there’s even a pass for those that makes them even cheaper). We offer a number of groups 50% off rush tickets, and maintain a bank of free tickets for the community. Not to mention, folks who simply plan in advance and have flexibility as to when they come can find the prices they’re most comfortable with!
If wishes were fishes we’d be able to offer free entry into every show while paying our artists a true living wage, but to get that someone, somewhere, has to pay. Private and government funding is tricky and unstable, the one thing we can control is the box office. If you’d like to help support our programming and mission and help us alleviate some of these concerns, we have multiple ways that you can do so!