Fewer grants and decreased giving impact live local theater costs, ticket sales in Cincinnati

Box office revenue doesn't cover a show's costs

Live local theater isn't inexpensive—up to $80 for a single ticket at Playhouse in the Park—yet no theater company comes close to covering expenses, let alone profiting, through ticket sales alone.  

 
 

At Playhouse in The Park, 60 percent of revenue comes from the box office. Ticket sales account for 58 percent of income at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and for just 40 percent of revenue at Ensemble Theatre. These three are the only companies in town employing professional/unionized labor in all facets of production.

 

In setting prices, leaders with each company balance value for audiences with the pressures of rising production costs.

Become a WCPO Insider to learn how local theaters are working to keep tickets affordable while also raising enough revenue to keep artistic standards high.

 

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