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Why does the ART not love us? - Qualified Perceptions
Why does the ART not love us?
harrock and I were given season tickets to the ART for a wedding present, and we've been renewing them since then. I, admittedly, have always had something of a... well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a love/hate relationship, but let's say an admiration/bafflement relationship with the ART. I love to keep track of how much they writhe on the floor. I love their lighting designers. I quite like many of their shows. Others of their shows leave me bewildered, or bored. But I keep up my end of the social contract. I don't talk smack about their shows while I'm in the theater. I did not walk out of Three Sisters when the rest of the audience did. I try to laugh out loud at the funny bits. And we give them money every year, in advance, for season tickets.

Every other theater I go to, I feel that part of the social contract between me and them is, I give them money, and they give me the best seats that they have (for the price I'm paying). I don't expect orchestra seats if I'm paying for second balcony. But I do expect that they will not give me the worst tickets currently available, in the hopes that handsomer or richer or otherwise better patrons might want the good seats. Okay, I could see saving a few seats near the front in the hopes that royalty might attend.

But, this season, they haven't been as full as in past years, and it is becoming more and more clear that They Do Not Love Us. Or, at least, they feel no inclination to sell us seats that do not suggest that they were really really hoping for better patrons, that they could offer the nice seats to.

Here. I have drawn the audience from tonight. The rest of the audience is the red dots. The grey is where nobody was sitting. We are the green dots.

Do you see how I might feel a little... marginalized? Perhaps they think I should be grateful that we were not in the far corner...

And yes, Tom, I know we're allowed to move after they shut the door (not that you can see the door in the Zero Arrow), but when I sit down, I want to take off my coat and hat and start reading the program and settle in - I don't want to be on hold, ready to spring for the prey of a better seat.

The play? Oh, yes. I actually liked the play, Trojan Barbie. I think it's my favorite of the ART this season, actually. It deserved a lot better than to have me sulking about the fact that their box office hates me. I found it funny in places, and disturbing in places, and somewhat inexplicable, but not annoyingly so, and both very human and very archtypal. And yes, there was a lot of writhing on the floor.

Current Mood: sad sad

11 comments or Leave a comment
mjperson From: mjperson Date: April 20th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Did you spend the whole play drawing that little diagram in your program so you'd remember where everyone was?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 20th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, not *all* the dots are exact. But I did count the empty and partial rows. :)
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: April 20th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)
It's, umm, a good view down the aisle?

But wow, that's weird. Would it be worth asking the box office why?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 20th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I am going to write them a letter. With the picture. :)
merastra From: merastra Date: April 20th, 2009 05:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Hello? Did they mistake you for the raucous patrons?
ironrat From: ironrat Date: April 20th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Does your seating assignment change with each play on your season tickets? That seems odd to me. I have season tickets to the Shakespeare Theatre here in DC, and I have my very own seats that don't move. And the best part is that each time I renew my subscription, they ask if my seats are okay, and I say, "oh, the seats are fine, but if there's anything a little more center or a little closer to the staqe, that'd be great". Slowly, I'm closing in on the best seats in the house.

But yes, there has been a box office error here. I think including the diagram will especially drive the point home.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 20th, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that in fact what is going on is like your subscription, except that they're *not* doing the thing where they move us to better seats each year, so what we have dates from back when the ART was a lot more popular. Or, perhaps that Jerry has not been specifically asking for better seats the way you have, but I find it somewhat troubling that the default answer is assumed to be "No, I don't want the better ones".

Most of the shows are in the Loeb Mainstage, in which our seats do appear to be about a row behind everyone else (to the extent that I started being bothered by this earlier in the season), and the last Zero Arrow show was at round tables on the floor like a nightclub, so who could tell what the good seats were? :)
kirisutogomen From: kirisutogomen Date: April 21st, 2009 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Those dots look orange to me, not red.

firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 21st, 2009 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, they look orange in Firefox on my mac on the web page. They look red in the email that Livejournal sends me. I think there is some sort of... color profiling? that I do not understand. Here, let me see if I can capture it.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 21st, 2009 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Edited at 2009-04-21 03:14 am (UTC)
izmirian From: izmirian Date: April 21st, 2009 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, you would think that two applications running on the same computer on the same monitor would be able to render red the same way...
11 comments or Leave a comment