Wednesday, December 8, 2010

League's Annual Demographic Report Shows Who's Sitting in Those Theater Seats

63 Percent of Audiences Were Tourists
The Broadway League’s 13th annual demographics report, The Demographics of the Broadway Audience 2009-2010, compares current theatergoing habits to previous seasons in predicting trends for the future.

Of note, the newest study reveals that tourists accounted for 63 percent of the 11.89 million Broadway admissions this year. (See my piece on doing my part to help these tourists while they are in New York at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/2010/07/doing-my-part-to-stimulate-economy-one.html )

Resources such as ILoveNYTheater.com and the Broadway Concierge & Ticket CenterTM located in the Times Square Information Center provide information in six different languages for tourists and New York residents alike. Overall, international tourists accounted for 17 percent of all admissions to Broadway shows in New York City. With 8.6 million visits* by foreign tourists, approximately one in four took in a Broadway show. (Tourists planning a visit to New York can see a list of what's playing on Broadway and which shows are headed to Broadway by scrolling down on the left side of this site. In addition, you can see which shows are playing in other cities by scrolling down to "Coming to a Theater Near You."

“Our annual demographic report reflects the consistency of the Broadway audience, yet slight nuances demonstrate how audiences and their behaviors do change from year-to-year,” commented Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League. “We did see a drop in the international tourists from a record high, most logically due to the changing economic conditions. New York City continues to show strong tourism numbers as such a significant number of our visitors do come from outside the NYC metro area.”

The analysis is based on extensive survey data gleaned from audience questionnaires distributed throughout the 2009-2010 Broadway season in New York City. It includes highlights on the demographics of the audience and their ticket purchasing habits. The report is part of an ongoing series that profiles Broadway theatergoers each season.

The report also shows that the use of the Internet for the purchase of tickets has decreased by 5percent since the 2008-2009 season (from 39 to 34 percent). However, online purchase continues to be the most popular method of ticket buying for a sixth year in row.

For show selection, critics’ reviews were the most influential factors for playgoers, followed closely by personal recommendation. However, 48 percent of theatergoers at musicals said that personal recommendation was the single strongest reported factor in deciding which show to see. (Our reviews here at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/ are the only source for a review with added Christian perspective. We also provide hundreds of personal recommendations via email. Contact us at reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com.)

Playgoers also tended to be more frequent theatregoers than musical attendees. The typical playgoer saw seven shows in the past year, compared with five for the musical attendee. Those who saw fifteen or more shows comprised 6 percent of the audience, but represented 31 percent of all admissions.

Reflecting a trend of the past few decades, 66.3 percent of the audiences were female, marking the highest percentage of female audiences. Furthermore, 69 percent of those making the purchasing decisions were female.

Three quarters of admissions were Caucasian theatergoers, but audiences have become slightly more diverse over the past decade. There were a higher percentage of Asian theatergoers this season, moving up from 3.9 to 6.1 percent.




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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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