The Playgoer: Giving it Away

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Giving it Away

I have often railed against the practice of giving complimentary performance tickets to lots of people who feel they deserve them. Too many arts organizations, especially those in foreign countries, make a habit of handing out large numbers of free tickets to donors, friends, government officials and virtually anyone who asks for them. Ironically, these 'comps' are typically offered to those who can afford to buy a ticket, rather than to bring those unable to pay into the theater....


However, while I am opposed to free tickets, I am a big fan of free performances. That might sound like a contradiction but it isn't. When an arts organization has a mission to provide access to the arts for everyone, they will frequently plan for one or more free performances in a season. These are mission driven events. They indicate that the organization wants to make sure that all parts of the community can participate.

-Michael Kaiser, Kennedy Center

Talk among yourselves...

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