Sunday, January 4, 2015

Theater Audience

In New York, theater still thrives and draws a large audience.  But among those who come to the theater to see a play only some can really be said to come to see the play.  There are those who come primarily to be entertained — to have a good time with friends or lovers or family; it is a night out and theater is often combined with dinner and/or drinks preceding it or following it. Theater for them is a social activity. Then, there are those who come to see the celebrities live on stage whom they were familiar with on the screen and fanatically admired.  They are predominantly tourists or members of  one fandom or another.  Broadway theaters serve these two groups.  What I believe is a relatively small minority of the audience comes really to see the play they chose to see because they wanted to see it and experience it as a theater.  This audience patronizes Off-Broadway theaters.  The audience of the Off- Off-Broadway theaters are predominantly family members and the friends of the actors in the play who come in support of the company even if obligatorily.  This is an obvious and trite observation but an observation that somehow I had to put in writing.

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