Wednesday, August 2, 2017

It's time to raise the curtain

Alon Kupererd

The Khan Theatre is the city theater of Jerusalem. In 2015 it hosted 66,608 theater guests, who paid to attend any of 16 productions. It is a relatively small city theater compared with Israel’s other city theaters: The Haifa Theatre produced 22 shows, attended by 126,611 paying visitors. The Be’er Sheva Theater produced 14 shows for a total of 154,512 paying visitors, and Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theatre produced 41 shows for audiences that totaled 844,151 paying visitors. 

With the exception of the Cameri Theatre, which held 1,478 performances of its shows, the numbers of performances across the theaters are comparable: the Khan had 302 performances, Haifa had 339, and Be’er Sheva had 396. Thus it appears that the discrepancy in the number of theater guests results from the size of the main auditorium of the respective theaters and the number of shows produced outside the main auditorium.

In terms of geographical distribution of performances, we find that most performances produced by the Khan and Cameri theaters (73% and 72%, respectively) take place at the home theater. In contrast, city theaters located farther away from Israel’s center, which have smaller home-based audiences, have fewer performances in their own city. The Haifa Theatre held 54% of its performances in Haifa and its surroundings, while the Be’er Sheva Theater held only 46% of its performances in Be’er Sheva and its surroundings. 

Of the theaters noted, the Khan has the smallest auditoriums: its main auditorium seats 232, and its small auditorium seats 69 (totaling 301 seats). The Haifa Theatre has three auditoriums, with 160, 158, and 767 seats respectively (totaling 1085 seats). The Be’er Sheva Theater, whose main auditorium is the city’s center for performing arts, has two auditoriums, with 430 and 885 seats respectively (totaling 1,315). The Cameri has four auditoriums with 910, 414, 267, and 156 seats respectively (totaling 1,747). Thus, even when the Khan has a full house, its audience is about one-third the size of an audience at the Haifa Theatre. The combination of a small auditorium and small number of performances outside the main auditorium explains the low number of attendees.

The small size of the audiences is not, however, an indication of public opinion: Jerusalemites are very fond of their theater. For example, 42% of the paying theater guests at the Khan were subscribers with season tickets, compared with 24% of the audience members at the Be’er Sheva and Cameri theaters and 19% at the Haifa Theatre. Likewise, the relatively low percentage of theater guests who attend performances using tickets sold to institutions indicates that Jerusalemites come to the Khan out of choice (48% of the Khan’s paid-for theater guests had tickets that had been sold to institutions, compared with 64% for the Cameri, 66% for Haifa, and 72% for Be’er Sheva).
  

Sources: Pilat, websites of the theaters

Translation: Merav Datan

No comments:

Post a Comment