Economics of Theatre
Time The Present ACT 1 Scene 1 Setting : Currently, the scenario of theatre in Iambi is such that there is a relatively large audience for regional plays in Marital, Guajarati, and Hindi. However, serious English theatre still remains a niche market. Tickets are priced much higher than movie tickets thus making it unaffordable for many. In an industry such as this, huge investments in terms of money and time is required, plays generally work on preceding legacies or big names. Thus if you have neither, the production house maybe taking a huge risk venturing into the arena.
As a result of the above, there are a very few players in the market and as far my knowledge and experience tells me, only Ace Productions ventures into mega productions- making it a near monopoly. Curtain Rise: National Centre for Performing Arts (NCAA) has various theatres under its umbrella, out of which Data Theatre and Smashed Bah Theatre are the largest and thus most expensive auditoriums to rent. When plays don’t make sufficient profits they can’t afford the above, as is the case with most groups in Iambi.
It is thus safe to assume that Ace Productions is the sole buyer for NCAA
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This ensures a reduced level of risk for Ace. While the situation for Ace can be related to a monopolist market, for NCAA, we can term it as a third degree Price-discrimination strategy where the theatre charges eased on the willingness to pay for the same product. Scene 2 How the Production House practices third degree Price Discrimination Theatre is a very niche market and in order to attract students and create love for theatre among coupons to students, senior citizens and winners of radio contests.
This attracted a new segment of the market we hoped would continue to be our patrons. This is how the production house practiced third degree price discrimination. Another way to do the same was, We divided our audiences into two categories . High Willingness to pay + high interest 2. Low willingness to pay + high interest In the auditorium, seats at the front are priced higher than the ones at the back. Nobody with a high willingness to pay takes seats at the back of the auditorium and hence we discriminate on prices in terms of the position of the seats.
The ones right the front cost 2500, then ones after 1500, 1000 and then 500. This ensures a full house and we are able to target different segments of the market based on their willingness to pay. Scene 3 Ticket booking for shows takes place via 2 avenues- Bookshop. Com and ticket windows at the respective theatre. Most audiences seek information about the play they want to watch through Bookshop synopsis, and their interest is peeked through advertisements in Bombay Times, hoardings, and direct mailers/Seems.
Thus it is important that you travel along with the customer through 4 levels 1 . 2. 3. 4. Attention- Advertisements, announcements during other plays and hoardings help capture attention Interest- The synopsis in newspapers, PR articles, Youth videos help generate an interest Desire- Direct mailers/ Seems will help create desire for your play Action- presence at the Place of Purchase so that the consumer is reminded f your play while making the purchase.
Because there is no prior knowledge about your play, and you are responsible to take your audience through the 4 stages of AID, it is essential that you maintain monopoly in every channel of communication. Out of sight is out of mind. Securing a prime position on Bookshop so that you’re in the eyes of the consumer, advertisements on a regular basis, presence of banners, posters at ticket windows are ways in which this monopoly can be achieved. Using monopoly to facilitate sales is an art that one must learn. Scene 4 Demand- supply equation
To try and apply the concept of economics to acting itself maybe a humorous but true equation. A scene expects some expressions, actions and movements from the actor. This is what we consider the demands from the actor. Sometimes the actor goes overboard and gives in extra which he may find relevant- this is what we refer to as overacting in theatre and an excess of supply in economics. Not extending the concepts of demand-supply further, it may be safe to assume that the increase in supply in acting actually mars the scene, exceeds demands and causes a fall in price of the actor.