Friday, December 19, 2008

Ticket Sales (Raw)

Un-Scripted had it’s annual Holiday Party on Sunday, which is always a good time, but at it I was reminded of something that makes us particularly unique. We’re already unique in that we approach improv from a theatrical perspective, not just in terms of the shows we do, but also in terms of how we do them. We have a season, like a theater company, and we do multiple week runs, like a theater company, and we do different shows for every run, like a theater company. Most improv groups have 1 show that they do all the time, or they do a special show for just one or two nights. We also rehearse more than any other improv group I’ve encountered.

But that isn’t what occurred to me. What occurred to me, the thing that makes us exceedingly rare is that we function in the black almost entirely from ticket sales. That’s almost unheard of in the world of performing arts non-profits. We don’t write grants. We don’t have fundraisers or have a huge list of donors to solicit from. Most theater companies get about a third of their income from ticket sales (plus a third from grants and a third from donors).

It just makes me wonder what we could be doing if we had three times the budget we do now.


  1. Yes, but you also don't pay anyone. That, and costumes, sets, etc. is where all the money goes.

  2. We do pay performers now. Not a lot, but something. Still, it'd be nice to get some grants and pay more and have costumes and sets etc.


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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.