Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is It the Best of Times or Worst of Times? Ask the Pearl Theatre Company

I have written features about, as well as reviews on, the Pearl Theatre Company's work for many years. Sometimes the reviews are favorable, sometimes not, but there's no question that the work of this organization, with its ensemble structure and history-comes-alive spirit, is most essential to the New York theatrical ecosystem. But the press release that I received today is really kind of puzzling to me. In essence, the Pearl is giving a "gift" to New York by lowering its ticket price to $25 for its upcoming holiday-season production of Nathan the Wise. To help save on costs, however, they are eliminating press and industry comps. Is this odd or just my nagging imagination? Does Equity have anything to say about this? Here is the cover letter, below, that came along with the press release:

Good Morning,

....Attached please find the press release for The Pearl’s upcoming production Nathan the Wise, which begins performances December 9, 2008 to be included in your calendars, listings, and features. As a holiday gift to our audiences with thanks to New York City for twenty-five years of support, this production is being offered at a deeply discounted rate of $25. Because of this, to reduce costs, we are offering no comp tickets to this production, including traditional press comps to make more seats available for selling. If you or one of your representatives wishes to purchase tickets, we’d be happy to arrange priority seating. For the remaining productions of our season, we return to traditional press previews and comps. Should you have any questions about the production or The Pearl Theatre Company, please do not hesitate to contact me via telephone or email. Thank you very much and I look forward to working with you.

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