Why Are Tickets So Expensive?
That’s a question our box office hears from time to time so here’s some insight that may help provide an answer.
First of all, everyone associated with the Old Creamery is a paid professional. Over half of our annual operating budget goes towards paying our employees: box office workers, maintenance personnel, year-round staff, actors, stage managers, directors, designers and interns. While no one in a not-for-profit organization is paid comparably to their counterparts in the commercial market, we do attempt to pay livable wages to the people who work here. And just to put that in perspective, the current weekly actor’s salary as negotiated with Actors’ Equity, the union for professional actors and stage managers in the US, is $380 per week for 2015.
On top of those base salaries, our-year round staff and Union actors all receive contributions toward their Health Insurance and Pension/Retirement plans.
As a professional theatre, we also pay royalties for the plays and musicals we produce and those fees can range from a few hundred dollars for some of our Theatre for Young Audiences productions to well over $10,000 each for the run of one our popular musicals.
We also have a budget line for general production expenses which include the sets, costumes, and props needed for each of the 18 shows we produce each year.
We pay per-ticket for the use of box office software that tracks all our ticketing and makes it possible for patrons to order conveniently on-line.
And of course we have typical business costs for utilities and office supplies as well as mortgage payments and basic upkeep for the house where our out of town artists stay while they’re working with us.
We have vehicles to maintain and fuel that carry our school tour and Camp Creamery teams all over the state as well as trucks and cars for moving scenery, props, costumes, and for conducting regular company business.
The Old Creamery strives to keep theatre affordable for everyone. Tickets are only $10 to all our Theatre for Young Audiences main stage productions. We offer group discounts to parties of 15 or more and student discounts to all shows. We also offer $12 student rush tickets to any main stage or studio production one half hour before curtain. And certainly the most economical way to experience our shows is with a Discount Ticket Packet (DTP) or one of our many Season Ticket options which can make a regular adult ticket as little as $14 per show.
In a day in age when Broadway shows have top ticket prices in the $200 range and even smaller regional theatres across the country are charging upwards of $35 and $40 per ticket, we will continue to keep our prices as low as possible so you will be able to afford to join us whenever you can. Live, professional theatre is an unparalleled experience, and we hope you agree with us that it’s worth the cost.