Thank You for Coming – audiences as seen from the front line


For the first time in 5 years, I’m not working at a theatre box office. Before I started university, I decided I’d rather my day job be in the theatre. I ended up working for 3 different box offices. I feel like I’ve sold thousands of tickets – and I probably have. I’ve learned a lot about theatre audiences over the last five years, and I want to write down a few things so that I never forget them.

Arena Stage’s first Summit, headed by Peter Marks, sparks online debate


About a month ago, Washington Post critic Peter Marks announced “The Summit,” a special series of three panel discussions.  Arena Stage’s artistic director, Molly Smith, had offered Marks the opportunity to create and moderate the series as he saw fit, so on Monday night he began by bringing a quintet of local artistic directors to […]

Too much Shakespeare? Humbug. Have a cookie.


If there’s one thing we can be sure of in DC Theatre, it’s that each season we’re going to see something by William Shakespeare. According to Washington Post critic Peter Marks, that’s becoming a bore and reeks of security over artistry. But no matter how many times you’ve seen a particular play, you’ll never see […]

Theatre too expensive? Ask a sports fan


Many of us crave the excitement and immediacy that comes from a really memorable live experience. Sports fans dream of making the pilgrimage to a World Series game, an NBA final series, a Stanley Cup game, a championship boxing match, or most hallowed of all, football’s Super Bowl. While I actually do love seeing talented […]

The Helen Hayes Awards: why I’ve changed my mind

Christopher Henley

I attended the theatreWashington summit a few weeks ago. I read the recent Nelson Pressley article in The Washington Post on one of the topics addressed at the meeting, whether to split existing Helen Hayes categories so that smaller-budget theatres are not competing against larger-budget theatres. It was apparent at the meeting, and reported by Pressley, […]

Theatre for nearly nothing. Who’s tried it?

Taffety Punk Theatre has various free or low price plans including Wednesday Bring a Dude night (for women) to Riot Grrrls' Titus Andronicus shown here

In Minneapolis, a company called Mixed Blood garnered national attention when it introduced its policy of “radical hospitality,” essentially shifting to a “free entry” model. The Name Your Price-style ticketing now being tried by Forum Theatre all season and Theater Alliance for Thursday productions of Brok-ology is based on that experience.

Let’s play Fantasy Producer – plays we’d like to see in a new season

co-book writer, Bob Martin

It’s August, so many people are gearing up to play fantasy football.  For me, this is the time of the year when I like to play Fantasy Producer.  While the 2012-13 theatre season has come to an end and the 2013-14 season is just starting, I’m already looking ahead to 2014-2015 possibilities.

Giving back

Donate to Taking Care of Our Own

I don’t know where I will file this article. It’s not a review, it’s certainly not news, nor is it an interview (unless one can interview oneself.)

Theater 2.0 – audiences move from passive to active participation


It’s that time of year again—when roughly 1,000 theater makers from around the world converge on a city for the annual Theatre Communications Group National Conference. This year, I was honored to receive an invitation from Clayton Lord, Theatre Bay Area’s Director of Communications and Audience Development, to participate on a panel entitled “Maximizing Impact: […]

DC theatre companies compete and collaborate with each other


Several months ago, local playwright Stephen Spotswood and Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks asked me how much DC theater companies feel like they are in competition with each other, which led me to author this post on my arts marketing blog.

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