The Playgoer: Recession Drama

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Recession Drama

Don't think this Recession isn't going to affect the NY theatre big time.

Domestic tourism did see a downturn during the last recession, although there was the silver lining of increased numbers of international visitors, attracted by the buying power afforded by the weak dollar.

Producers already are considering scaling back on their upcoming skeds, worrying about increasing competish for recession-affected theatergoers. That's especially true for backers of plays, which tend to have a more limited audience base.

Nonprofits would likely face difficulties, too. As corporate philanthropy and government grants subside, theaters increasingly rely on donations from individuals. If those individuals start to feel the pinch, so will the theaters.

"It's definitely going to have an impact on fund-raising," says Roundabout a.d. Todd Haimes.

Read more, from Variety's Gordon Cox.

Note that bit about plays. That bright shining moment of all those serious dramas on Broadway is now over.

Oh, and by the way The Homecoming is heading toward an April 13 closing with only 37.2% capacity.

For the layman, that means almost 2 out of every 3 seats are empty. For Pinter. On Broadway. Rave reviews. And with the guy from Deadwood.

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