So I was thinking recently, just “who” do we do this for? To answer this, first we have to define the “we.” In general I tend to blog about the larger “we,” the Village Players. Feeling some sort of responsibility for the path and direction of the club as a whole comes with the job of President, I think. So who do “we” (Village Players) do this for? I am asking this as our season’s first two shows turned in “modest” box office results. Not bad (around 80%) but not “boffo” either. Are we doing something wrong? Is it simply a failure to market effectively or aggressively? Or is it something else?
During the recent play selection exercise, the Board of Directors spent some time trying to answer the question of “to whom would a particular show appeal?” We kept coming back to the conclusion that it was important to draw in those elusive “young people.” In particular, we felt the need to attract young people to perform in these shows. Obviously, our club needs to repopulate itself over time; we oldsters can only fake the ingénue role for so long.
We may have been missing the mark, however. While the death of theatre (and Broadway) has been predicted for several generations, perhaps these X, Y, or Z generations simply are not interested in putting down their “devices” and watching live performances? Are we beating ourselves up to attract an audience that is just not there?
My most recent AARP Bulletin (one of my two most favorite information sources) reported that the “over 50” economy in the U.S. has more than 100 million consumers who generate more than 7 trillion dollars in sales of goods and services. This group is the third largest economy in the world! “Boomers” if you will, hold 80% of the net worth in the U.S., and lest you think they are completely outdated, they even drive over 25% of “e-reader” sales. The article ends with this challenge to businesses: “What is your 50-plus strategy?”
How about Village Players? Do we have a “50 Plus Strategy?” Should we? Apparently that is where the money is. If we want to grow, thrive, or even survive, it seems like we need to think about some moves in this direction. I am not sure this means a season of Rogers & Hammerstein, Agatha Christie, and Neil Simon…but why not? Maybe it means a shift to more matinees, valet parking, hearing assistance technology. What do you think? What is your “over 50” strategy?