Industry News

Pay What You Can initiative hits NZ theatre

The Fortune Theatre in Dunedin, New Zealand has launched a Pay What You Can ticketing initiative that is designed to attract people who may not usually be able to afford it.

The second Wednesday of each production in the 2018 Fortune Season will operate under the pricing structure and will invite people to pay what they can afford.

The price options start at NZ$3 and range up to NZ$100, with the initiative kicking off on April 7 with An Iliad.

Tickets for this Pay What You Can show will become available on the opening performance of the production.

Fortune Theatre director, Jonathon Hendry explains that the concepts of Pay What You Can and Pay It Forward are not new and have been successful both in New Zealand and overseas, according to the Aus Leisure Management website.

Hendry said: “The idea is to make it possible for anyone to come and see our shows.

“We’ve been listening to what people say about coming to the theatre and there is a perception that performing arts are an expensive luxury. For many people in our community, that’s actually a reality.

“All kinds of research, both formal and anecdotal, demonstrate the positive effects that exposure to arts and culture has on people’s wellbeing. We believe we have a community responsibility to give as many people as we can access to local performing arts.”

Pay It Forward is another option in which people who are purchasing a ticket can pay for another one to be donated to a local community organisation or group.

Hendry adds: “There are many people in Dunedin who have a strong desire to be philanthropic but perhaps don’t want to become involved in formal sponsorships or programmes.

“A Pay It Forward ticket purchase allows for an ‘in the moment’ donation that will create an opportunity for another person to experience the arts who may not otherwise be able to.”

Image: David Joyce