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Azuka Theatre

March 2016 $55,000 / 24 months

In 2015, ARC, Stockton Arts Centre (ARC) in Northeastern England became the first organization to implement a full season of Pay What You Decide (PWYD) performances, where tickets were not sold for the shows, only free reservations were made. Theatre-goers were given the opportunity to decide after the show what they wanted to pay for the experience. This differs from the popular Pay What You Can model which requires audience members pay as they enter. Initial results have shown an increase in new and returning audiences—something that is particularly difficult for companies focused on performing experimental work. Following in the footsteps of ARC, Azuka Theatre will launch a two-year PWYD pilot beginning with its 2016-2017 season–the first of its kind in the U.S. During the pilot, Azuka will gather data on audiences to see if they are able to maintain box office earnings while encouraging attendance by new audiences who might otherwise avoid new productions due to cost or lack of familiarity with offerings. Lessons learned will be shared with the arts community informing how similar arts organizations might use this model to support their work.

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