Thursday, June 25, 2009

Small theatres, big expenses

Last September I saw Follies at the Lyric Stage in Boston and enjoyed it very much. I don't remember how much my Follies ticket was - probably under $50. Unfortunately, I was only able to go to one show there but I would like to have seen more.

So of course I'm now on the Lyric's mailing list and I got this e-mail a few days ago letting me know about the upcoming season and asking for a donation:

How Your Gift Helps Support The Lyric Stage Company of Boston:

$15,000 The set for a major musical like Follies.
$6,000 Custom-made quick-change costumes for a comedy like The Mystery of Irma Vep.
$2,500 Specially-made Oval Office rug for the comedy November.
$1,100 One student's tuition for Lyric First Stage, summer theatre program for teens.
$600 Special effect lightning for The Mystery of Irma Vep.
$250 One stage lighting instrument.
$150 Two students' participation in Lyric First Curtain, theatre access for students.
$100 One pair of dance shoes for Follies.

I'm not sure if some of those figures, like the $15,000 for a set, include labor or if that's just for materials. But I'd never really thought before about how much a smallish theatre company like Lyric spends on things like sets and costumes.

So the e-mail was definitely a bit of an eye-opener for me and hopefully I'll be able to support them again with a visit.


Pam said...

Wow! Those costs are eye-opening. It's a wonder a small theater company can afford to stay in business. I won't complain about the cost of ticket to a show anymore.

Esther said...

Oh, you should still feel free to complain about the cost of tickets. I do! ;-)

But yeah, I really had no idea how much some of those things cost, so it was interesting.