by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
I have often wondered: why can't theatre companies organize their openings for the real world? Companies often get angry when they do not have all the critics or even a full house for their premiere. Here are five things they must keep track of before setting the date.
- TV galas. Yes, yes, yes, it's theatre and therefore above all that glitzy crap, but real people and critics also love the silliness of the Tonys, Golden Globes and Oscars. Luckily, most of these fall on a Sunday, but you should be aware of them nevertheless. Next day coverage of local winners of big awards can squeeze out theatre.
- the Habs in the playoffs. Now this one is a double-edged sword: critics and first-nighters are not all theatre queens and some of us—not me—like hockey and become strangely ardent fans if the Habs are in the finals; the other edge of the sword is that papers tend to squeeze out coverage of anything if the Habs are going for the gold (bronze).
- Easter weekend. It's different every year, folks...be aware of it.
- weather. If it's winter, be prepared for last minute cancellations and book seats accordingly. Very recently, one company could not accommodate press for any night after the premiere which was during a snowstorm.
- each other. It's getting better than the bad old days of three shows opening the same night, but it's still not perfect. Again, the two-edged sword: even if your play is not opening the same night as a production at a major house, if it's opening the same week will it be covered in a media outlet that has limited space?