Free admission is just the ticket

  • Article by: SHARYN JACKSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 23, 2012 - 2:35 PM

Mixed Blood Theatre and others have boosted audience diversity and access by offering free and reduced-price admission.

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noggnbloggnJun. 24, 12 7:48 PM

So Jack figures that theatre is not capitalism, not a business, but rather charity. This is true if the money donated to his 'venture' is given voluntarily by the donors -- individuals who may not even be in attendance, and corporations who have enough profit to still support the arts. Personally, I am offended that he has chosen this operational model, when many corporations are laying off employees in order to shore up their bottom lines. Government grants are NOT charity, but rather the 'redistribution of wealth', of which we all have so often been hearing. It is the enforced confiscation of our earnings, given to arts groups who have applied for assistance -- not unlike the Communist model of centralized government granting support to those it deems worthy, but not by patrons. I think Jack's decision is one of desperation , and I hope he will rethink it. I personally cannot support this format, and will neither attend performances, nor donate to his personal enrichment. Philosophical differences notwithstanding, I admire Jack personally, but think he has made a grave error here.

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evrycrtikJun. 25, 12 8:43 AM

Noggnbloggn, your concept of theater is pretty narrow. It’s limited to one of two things -- either capitalism or socialism/business or charity. Have you ever bothered to think that it might exist outside of those to ideological constraints altogether? This is exactly the kind of unimaginative thinking Jack seems to be trying to break out of. But don’t get your nickers in such a twist! I’ve done my share of grant writing – believe me, if the grant providers don’t think this model is sustainable they won’t pony up any money and you can breathe easy for 2 seconds and then go attack the soup kitchen down the street for the enforced confiscation of your earnings there. Jack is doing exactly what wiser-than-thou blogosphere pundits keep telling theatre to do: reinvent itself. He may succeed; he may fail but the point it he’s showing how creative he is and I applaud this and hope it works.

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yoyoma1977Jun. 25, 12 5:56 PM

I don't understand why we have to water this article down to make it seem like Mixed Blood is just one theatre of many breaking new ground here. There is a huge difference between a silly pay-what-you-can night (which almost every theatre in the Twin Cities has been doing for practically a decade) and offering ALL the tickets in your entire season for zero dollars. I mean, c'mon! No one in town is doing what Mixed Blood is doing. They deserve more credit than to be lumped in with these other tired and safe ideas.

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chippewa76Jun. 27, 12 3:19 PM

As a season ticket holder to mixed blood theatre for 8 years. I enjoyed radical hospitality. In the past at mixed blood you may end up watching a show with 40-50 people in the crowd. Now the seats are always full. You may not get the best seats in the house (those go to the people getting in free because they have to show up early) but it is more fun to see a play with a full audience.

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artist123Jun. 27, 12 9:33 PM

I don't get this at all.

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