Friday, December 30, 2011

59 Shows of 2011

A Bay Area Teen Theater-Goer Reflects on Her 2011 Show-Going

This year, I tried something new – I made an Excel spreadsheet of all the shows I went to see. The purpose of the list was to try to deter me from spending too much on theater-going (last year, I may have gone a little overboard money-wise, and my parents may have been a bit mad, which may have ended up badly for all parties involved, except the theaters). Looking over the spreadsheet at the end of this year, I wanted to share some statistics from the list, not because I feel I'm representative of teen theater-goers (I'm not, at all), but because I want people -- most importantly, other teens; but also theaters, arts administrators, and older ladies in the audience who give me withering glances when I take a seat next to them because they're afraid I'll text and chew gum loudly for the duration of the show (no exaggeration; these glances happen with frequency) -- to know that there are indeed teens who go see theater and enjoy it very much. In this overview, I'm going to leave off the money section, because despite the spreadsheet plan, I still spent way too much on show-going to admit publicly – so I suppose my spreadsheet failed in that respect. However, it did allow me to keep track of every single show I saw this year, and that not only allows me to share some (possibly interesting) statistics, but also share some of my excitement about Bay Area theater with other teens. So here goes!

Some assorted observations/notes:
- At most of the shows, I was conspicuously the youngest person in the audience (unless a younger sibling or friend came with).
- Most of the shows I saw were in venues easily accessible by public transit (bus, BART, Muni).
- This list doesn't count any show that I was part of.
- Readings are wonderful inventions.
- Most importantly: the Bay Area has some DARN awesome theater going on.

Of Dice and Men (Impact Theatre). Photo
by Cheshire Isaacs.
Here are some 2011 stats:
Total Shows Seen: 59
Non-Youth Productions: 50 
School (elementary, middle school, high school, and college) Productions: 4 
Other Youth Productions: 5 
Shows Seen More than Once: 4 (each counted only once in "Total Shows Seen") 
Readings: 13 
Shows Seen via #NewPlay TV Livestream: 2 
Shows Seen at "Big Name" Theaters: 6
Non-Musicals: 44
Musicals: 15
New Works: 26

Subscriptions to Theater Companies: 2 (PlayGround and Shotgun Players)

Farthest Traveled: Twelfth Night (Hebrew translation) – Khan Theater – Jerusalem, Israel

Shows Seen for Free: 22 (from comps, ushering, discounts for students, etc. – and just plain and wonderful free theater)
Average Cost per Ticket: $8.49

New Theaters Patronized: 12
Total Theaters Patronized: 27
Favorite Two New-for-Me Theater Companies: TheatreFIRST and Marin Theatre Company
Favorite Two Already-Known-to-Me Theater Companies: PlayGround and Shotgun Players (hence the subscriptions), with Crowded Fire close behind

Most Discouraging Teen Theater-Going Moment: getting handed the “Teen Discount Ticket” with my name on it from a box office person (who I didn't know) before giving them my name, and being told that they knew who I was because “How many teens do you think are coming to see this show?”
Most Encouraging Teen Theater-Going Moment: going to see The Verona Project at Cal Shakes with 10 other teenagers just in our group!

I thought this statistic was interesting:
Number of shows seen where I knew no one in the cast: 6
(I'll work on this for next year...)

Looking back and looking forward...
The Companion Piece (Z Space). Photo
by Pak Han.
Top Five 2011 Productions I Most Wish I Could See Again
1) The Companion Piece (Z Space)
2) Seven: A Documentary Play (TheatreFIRST reading)
3) Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter (TheatreFIRST)
4) The Verona Project (Cal Shakes)

3 Top “I Missed This Show” Regrets
1) The Lily's Revenge (Magic Theater)
2) Pelleas and Melisande (Cutting Ball)
3) A Delicate Balance (Aurora Theatre Co.)

Top 6 Plays from 2010 that I'm Still Thinking About
(Is it cheating to include this category? I figure I spent enough time thinking about these shows this year that I had to mention them somewhere.)
1) Safe House (SF Playhouse, Sandbox Series)
2) God's Ear (Shotgun Players)
3) Hamlet on Alcatraz (We Players)
4) Forever Never Comes (Crowded Fire)
5) Tennessee Williams in Rep (Cat, Glass, Streetcar) (Boxcar Theatre)
6) Salt Plays: Part 1 and 2 (Shotgun Players)

5 Shows I'm Looking Forward to Next Year
1) Anything at Shotgun (especially Tom Waits' musical adaptation of Woyzeck)
2) Little Brother (Custom Made Theater Co.)
3) The Hundred Flowers Project (Crowded Fire)
4) Future Motive Power (Mugwumpin)
5) Sam Shepard in Rep (Boxcar Theatre)

 That was 2011. Can't wait to see what 2012 brings.

If you have questions about any of the stats above or want to see stats for a different catergory, I'd be happy to share -- just drop a comment below!

No comments:

Post a Comment