Monday Night Theatre
October 14, 2009
Perhaps the most interesting detail that came up in last night's Theatre Critics' Panel organized by Theatre Bay Area was the subject of presenting plays on unconventional days. Critics' calendars tend to get very busy as the week moves towards the weekend. Thursday to Sunday nights are the fastest nights to get booked up with shows to see.
So one way of potentially increasing the chances of having a critic come and see a show as a producer, is by presenting it on a Monday and/or Tuesday. Intersection for the Arts and a couple of other companies have been in on this ruse for quite a while. Intersection for the Arts' upcoming opening night for The Erika Chong Shuch Performance Project & Campo Santo - The Future Project: Sunday Will Come - is happening next Monday, though performances ordinarily run from Thursdays through Saturdays (plus one Sunday). Very likely, most if not all the critics will be there on Monday, myself included, as Monday tends to be a free evening. Marine's Memorial Theatre is going a step further by presenting the entire run of the first show in its its new New Works @ The Marines series -- Rick Reynold's Love, God, Sex (and other stuff I don't have) only on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Then again, I wonder if audiences will generally be lured to go out to the theatre on a Monday night? Most people are kind of exhausted after the shock of the first day of the week. Monday Night Football probably seems like the most enticing option for many. Also, theatre critics have so little space these days to write about shows owing to the economic woes of the industry, that a Monday press night is not necessarily a guarantee at this point that the critics will show up.
Still, Monday night theatre is an interesting experiment. If I weren't a professional critic, I think I'd prefer going out to see shows on unorthodox evenings like Monday or Tuesday. Friday and Saturday are not such a draw for me. Tickets are more expensive at the weekends and bars and restaurants are more crowded. There might be a place for Monday night theatre for anyone who feels the same way.