A Theater Free-for-All

Affy Koungoulos

Allow me to preface this article by stating a simple truth: Latin’s theater department is awesome. The directors, cast, and crew are all immensely talented people who devote countless hours to rehearsing and building their sets. This impressive amount of dedication culminates in a Wednesday–Friday run of the show, where family and friends are invited to witness the hard work come to life. Traditionally, students would pay $5 per ticket and adults would pay $10. To those who envied teachers for being able to attend for free, sigh no more. Starting this year, tickets to our plays are free for all.

I was inspired to sit down with Mr. Schneider, who directs many of our plays, to talk a little more in-depth about this new pricing scale, or lack thereof. Generally, the pricing for Latin’s plays is considerably less than tickets to The Book of Mormon or The Avengers. However, the expense can add up for students whose entire families are interested in coming to the show, especially multiple times. According to Mr. Alexander, our Chief Financial Officer, accessibility was the main factor in doing away with the price. Though the student-run production is usually funded by ticket sales, the administration graciously agreed to work out alternate arrangements. So far, the new system seems to be working. Mr. Schneider reported that the turnout for Macbeth was impressive, but says that it’s a bit premature to concretely predict how much the attendance will increase. He remains optimistic that it will continue rising.

On average, there was a ratio of 1.5 adults to every student that attend the play, most likely partially due to the cost of adult tickets compared to student ones. Friday is usually the biggest student night, but hopefully the new policy will encourage extended families to attend as many times as they wish. However, obtaining a paper ticket is still required for entry. Mr. Schneider explained that it allows him to track the new ratios of student to adult attendees, and added that having a physical ticket motivates people to come because it feels more binding than simply agreeing to see the play. Speaking as a writer who moonlights as a thespian on occasion, it makes the effort seem even more worthwhile when you have a full house. And maybe free theater tickets will create just that accessibility that Latin theater has been seeking.