Discounted tickets available for San Diego Theatre Month in March
San Diego Performing Arts League has expanded its annual discount ticket promotion from 10 days to a month to help boost box office sales
Many things have changed in San Diego since March 17, 2020 — the day stay-at-home orders were announced as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the nearly three years since then, many things about how San Diegans live, work, eat and play have changed, in some cases permanently. As a result, arts ticket sales are down industrywide and theater companies are producing shorter seasons as they adjust to reduced demand.
But the San Diego Performing Arts League hopes to reset some old habits with the return of its annual discounted-ticket promotion next month.
Previously known as San Diego Theatre Week, the event has expanded this year to become San Diego Theatre Month, and nearly 40 shows are featured in the program, which is an all-time high. Among this year’s participants are San Diego Opera, the San Diego Symphony, two ballet companies, some choruses and virtually every theater company in San Diego.
The San Diego Performing Arts League’s ArtsTix ticket office in Horton Plaza and online is offering tickets from March 1-31 priced at $15, $30 and $45. Some tickets offered during Theatre Month will be for performances taking place in April. To find out what’s available, visit sandiegotheatremonth.com.
Tickets available at the $15 level in March include San Diego Ballet’s “Viva Vivaldi”; OnStage Playhouse’s “Slowgirl”; and Loud Fridge Theatre Group and Scripps Ranch Theatre’s co-production of “Neat,” among others. Tickets priced at $30 include Moxie Theatre’s “Birds of North America”; Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Lucky Stiff”; CCAE Theatricals’ “Sunday in the Park With George”; and The Old Globe’s “The XiXth (The Nineteenth).” And $45 tickets are available for La Jolla Playhouse’s “The Outsiders”; Lamb’s Players Theatre’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”; San Diego Musical Theatre’s “Anything Goes”; and the international touring production of “Riverdance,” among many others.
Jay Henslee, board president for the Performing Arts League, talked about the program in an interview earlier this month.
Q: Why do you think you have such high participation in the program this year?
A: We started this program eight years ago as Theatre Week and it ran for 10 days. We always had a great lineup, but it limited the number of shows people had access to and prevented some theaters and arts companies from participating. Extending the program to an entire month has enabled more organizations to participate and includes nearly 40 shows encompassing music, dance and theater.
Q: How many tickets did you sell during Theatre Week in the years before the pandemic?
A: Typically, we sell about 2,000 tickets, but last year we sold slightly more and had over 10,000 visitors to the website. We hope to more than double our ticket sales now that we have extended the program to an entire month.
Q: Do you have lots of new participants this year?
A: We do. It’s exciting to see so much interest from the arts organizations. We have returning companies like The Old Globe, Broadway San Diego, North Coast Repertory and others. This year, we have new additions from the San Diego Symphony, City Ballet, Backyard Renaissance, Star Theatre and several others. It’s incredible to see the diversity of offerings this year.
Q: Arts organizations are still recovering from the pandemic. How important is this Theatre Month promotion for them in selling tickets and finding new audiences?
A: This is a very critical time for arts organizations, as state and federal pandemic relief is ending and audience development is so important. Theatre Month features performances for every budget at $15, $30 and $45. This is a great opportunity to see two to three shows for the price you might pay for one.
Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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