Sunday, September 14, 2008

Free Theatre on October 16th

The following is a press release from the Theatre League of South Florida:

South Floridians will get the opportunity to attend a free night of live theatre on October 16.

Theatres stretching from West Palm Beach to Coral Gables will be opening up their doors for Free Night of Theater with performances ranging from large scale musicals to American classics to world premieres, said Theatre League of South Florida (TLSF) President Meredith Lasher. TLSF will be coordinating the Oct. 16 event in South Florida. A list of the participating theatres and their productions will be announced later.

"The Theatre League is proud to participate in this proven program that is a nation-wide effort to introduce new audiences to theatre." Lasher added.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) – a national organization which promotes theatre – first conceived Free Night of Theater at their National Conference in 2003 as a way to remove perceived barriers that have historically prevented audiences from attending not-for-profit theatre. An estimated 80 per cent of last year’s attendees were first-time theatergoers. Recent attendance data gathered by Shugoll Research reports that over 33% of last year’s first-time theatergoers purchased tickets to another performance following their Free Night experience.

TCG announced today that the second annual Free Night of Theater will be held across the country on Thursday, October 16. On that night theatergoers, including South Floridians, can attend performances being presented by more than 450 selected theatres free of charge as part of this unprecedented campaign to attract new audiences.

According to Brad Erickson, executive director of Theatre Bay Area and participant in the program since its 2005 pilot year, “The support was extraordinary, from our local theater companies and the broader community. The demand from the public for this kind of live artistic experience was overwhelming…tickets went so fast, we had to go back to our companies and ask for more!”

Free Night of Theater venues will be launched on a national website, www.freenightoftheater. net, in September. Several kickoff events will be held across the country and ticket reservations will be available beginning on October 1.

Contact Andie Arthur, TLSF Executive Director, for further information on the program in South Florida.— 954.557.0778. Additional information on TLSF is available at www.southfloridatheatre. com.

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