Marketing Spotlight: Folger Theatre, Washington, D.C.

ticket promotions

Earlier this year we read an article about the controversy surrounding the Metropolitan Opera’s rush ticket policy. We wondered how other venues handled rush tickets and the broader question of attracting audiences. We spoke with Beth Emelson, Assistant Artistic Producer with the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C. YPP: What is the history of the Folger’s rush ticket policy? Emelson: We formalized our policy two seasons ago, selling $30 rush tickets – the best available seat – an hour before curtain time. Regular ticket prices range from $15 for standing room …

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Fleet Angle: What’s That?


If you work with rigging regularly but you’re not an installer, you may not know exactly what the fleet angle is, or why it’s important. It’s a good piece of information to have in your back pocket when you are adjusting or inspecting your rigging, or if you have the opportunity to buy a new rigging system. If you notice an excessive fleet angle, it could be a clue that something is wrong with your mounting or machinery. The fleet angle of a hoist is the angle at which the …

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Q&A Spotlight: Active Acoustic Systems

active acoustic systems

One way technology is impacting performing arts facilities is with active acoustic systems, which use sophisticated computers, microphones and speakers to enhance a venue’s acoustics. For an update on this topic, we contacted Ed Logsdon in Denver. He is a Principal with D.L Adams Associates, a firm specializing in acoustic consulting and system engineering for the performing arts and other industries. YPP: What are the benefits of an active acoustic system? Logsdon: If you’re trying for any variability in the venue’s acoustics, an active acoustic system can go beyond what’s …

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Tobin Center’s Shell: Beautiful Perspectives

Wenger Diva Shell

Last fall we profiled the new $203 million Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, a stunningly beautiful facility with a unique acoustical shell as its centerpiece. Although Wenger has made hundreds of acoustical shells, the Tobin Center acoustical shell was the first that incorporated a digitally printed overlay pattern along with traditional woodworking craftsmanship. This week we’ll explore the shell further. Encouraging Interpretations. The large printed overlay that seems to billow across all the shell towers was inspired by the arabesque ornamentation of the original auditorium’s Spanish …

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An Instrument’s True Value

An Instrument's True Value

What makes certain musical instruments valuable? How is that value properly calculated? And is there any correlation between a historic musical instrument’s value and the quality of the music it creates? Commanding Millions. Stradivarius violins, for example, command millions of dollars at auction; the “Lady Blunt” Strad sold for $15.9 million several years ago. Because only approximately 600 of luthier Antonio Stradivari’s string instruments exist from the early 1700s, their scarcity boosts prices. It’s simple economics. Since Strads are so prized, they are often purchased as investments. Wealthy patrons also …

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Time to Inspect Your Rigging?

J.R. Clancy

Five Facts to Convince Your Board Your stage rigging may be decades old or installed in the last few years, counterweight or motorized, and in good working order or sad and saggy—but no matter what, it’s important to have it inspected regularly by a qualified professional. It can be challenging, however, to get your board of directors to loosen the purse strings, especially if the rigging seems to be working just fine. Here are some facts to help you get the allocation you need to pay for an inspection: It’s …

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Arts Spotlight: Rover Dramawerks, Plano, TX

rover dramawerks

We’re inspired by the passion and creativity of performing arts organizations of all shapes and sizes. This week we’re shining the spotlight on a small Texas theatre by talking to one of its co-founders, Jason Rice. YPP: Tell us about Rover Dramawerks. Rice: We’re starting our 15th year and our mission statement is both lofty and vague: “To produce lost or forgotten works of well-known authors, revive excellent scripts that have suffered from lack of exposure and discover unknown gems of the stage.” Our real mission statement is “I don’t …

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Q&A Spotlight: Sensory Friendly Performing Arts


Performing arts geared for audience members with social and cognitive disabilities — including those on the autism spectrum — are making news recently. On a practical level, this often involves modifying sound and lighting to minimize the likelihood of startling the audience. Other factors to consider include funding, promotion and training. To learn how one of the nation’s flagship family theatres, Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis, is serving this need, we caught up with Deborah Girdwood, Director of CTC’s Access & Special Programs. YPP: How does CTC promote Sensory …

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Think Outside the Rink

Maybe it’s the bitter sub-zero weather in the northern U.S. or the 2015 NHL Winter Classic played outside last week, but we’re inspired to explore two interesting examples of performing arts in ice arenas: a unique corporate entertainment event and the Disney-on-Ice juggernaut. Mega-Dinner Theatre. When attendees at major charity event walked into the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, for a dinner gala and concert several years ago, they were expecting to see a hockey arena. Instead, spread out before them was an elegant dinner theatre – set …

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Support Safer Student Stages This Holiday Season

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Are you looking for that perfect cause for your year-end giving as 2014 comes to a close? ‘Tis the season of holiday concerts, plays and pageants—a good time to support the cause of stage safety at schools around the country. USITT’s Rigging Safety Initiative provides free stage rigging inspections and stage crew safety training for secondary schools, which often lack the resources to ensure their stages are safe. USITT launched the program with founding sponsor J.R .Clancy, Inc., in 2011, and has since approved 88 schools for inspections and training. …

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