1st Stage, 9 Circles, American Century Theater, Arena Stage, Beauty and the Beast, Cabaret, Cinderella, DC Theatre, Dreamgirls, Flashdance, Folger Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Forum Theatre, Good People, Hairspray, Helen Hayes Awards, Henry V, Hippodrome Theatre, Hughie, Italian American Reconciliation, Keegan Theatre, McLean Community Players, Metamorphoses, Next to Normal, Olney Theatre, Our Town, R&J, Shakespeare Theatre, Signature Theatre, Spring Awakening, Strathmore, Studio Theatre, The Show-Off, theatre marketing, theatre trends, theatreWashington
Please forgive my absence so far this year. As I embarked on my new theatre adventures this year, it’s been a busy one. While it’s no longer my place to discuss my thoughts on a particular show, I would be happy to share what I’ve been seeing in the DC area:
- Dreamgirls at Signature Theatre
- Cinderella at Olney Theatre
- The Show-Off at the American Century Theater
- Hairspray in concert at the Strathmore
- Cabaret at Keegan Theatre
- Henry V at Folger Theatre
- Our Town at Ford’s Theatre
- Beauty and the Beast at the Hippodrome Theatre
- Italian American Reconciliation at 1st Stage
- Good People at Arena Stage
- Spring Awakening at Olney Theatre
- Hughie at the Shakespeare Theatre
- Metamorphoses at Arena Stage
- R&J at Signature Theatre
- Next to Normal put on by the McLean Community Players
- Flashdance at the Hippodrome Theatre
- The [Mother*] with the Hat at Studio Theatre
- 9 Circles at Forum Theatre
Admidst my theatre-going, I have been immersing myself with trends in DC theatre and theatre marketing. My observations and research have revealed a few trends of interest:
- The “tweet seat” debate. It’s a big issue with strong opinions. Here’s a recent article regarding the issue: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/01/27/theater-tweet-seats/1868693/. Personally, I am strongly against “tweet seats.” I understand the desire to attract a younger, hipper theatre-going crowd, but at the end of the day, I think people who want to experience live theatre will be best suited watching the show sans technology.
- Nudity in live theatre. I read this article recently: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-16/entertainment/ct-ae-0217-jones-20130216_1_lena-dunham-onstage-gift-theatre. Initially, I didn’t think much of it, but then, I had four shows back-to-back that fell under this umbrella, which made me question how necessary the nudity was. While I can see where it’s part of the “art,” I also think a line has to be drawn somewhere. Less is more, and especially for those in the front row, it really can be quite distracting at times.
- The increasing popularity of subscriptions. Chad Bauman at Arena Stage discussed this issue recently in his blog: http://arts-marketing.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-subscription-equation-and-other.html. In my DC theatre research, I confirmed that subscribers are increasing. I question if this applies to smaller theatres, but it’s nice to see some data that counteracts the common belief that subscriptions are dying.
My theatrical adventures have been largely focused on DC this year, and I am coming to love the DC theatre scene more and more. It’s a great city for theatre, and although many outsiders don’t consider DC a theatre town, my observations and experiences would disagree. If you haven’t heard, the Helen Hayes Awards are coming up, and I’m eager to celebrate the incredible work performed in 2012!