Bah, epidemic! How theaters are saving a ‘Christmas Carol’

Mr. Haj does not expect to make money on it. Nor is Leda Hoffman, the artistic director of the Contemporary American Theater Company in Columbus, Ohio, which will stream for $ 20 per instrument. A contemporary renaissance With Ebony Scrooge at its center. “It’s very likely a losing proposition, but we’re telling the story because we want to tell it,” she said.

The financial implications are massive, especially for those who have opted not to charge at all. Last year, Ford’s theater in Washington sold $ 2.5 million for “A Christmas Carol”. This year, it is releasing a free audio version on its website and On public radio, Is paid for by corporate sponsors and donations. “Hopefully, it will come back to us in other ways,” Ford director Paul R. Tetrault said.

Money “A Christmas Carol” generally allows theaters to do more challenging work at other times of the year.

In Raleigh, NC, where Ira David Wood III, artistic and executive director of theater in the park, is playing Scrooge A musical adaptation Since 1974 (he missed a year when he had open-heart surgery), the money earned from the Holiday Show “enabled us to ‘Uncle Vanya’ and play 12 people,” he said.

Like many major regional theaters, Providence relies heavily on Trinity rape shows, accounting for half of all annual sales. This year, its One hour streaming version Still Looks to Be Popular – In the first 72 hours, 75,000 people from 46 states signed up to watch. But ticket revenue, which topped $ 1.7 million last year, will be zero, as the video is being broadcast for free.

“This thing has kept American cinemas alive for decades and decades,” said Charles Fee, artistic director of the Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland. “Without Christmas Carol, ‘our company would almost certainly have failed.”

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