PROVIDENCE, RI (October 21, 2021) – In continuation of their ongoing efforts to make live theatre accessible to everyone, Wilbury Theatre Group has officially launched a Pay-What-You-Can structure for all performances. Audience members now can set their own ticket price. The new ticket model officially launches with Charlie Thurston’s Lifted, a modern meditation on the Icarus myth presented outdoors at WaterFire Arts Center. Performances begin tonight and run through November 13. The production features Daraja Hinds, Victor Neto and Jim O’Brien. For tickets, visit thewilburygroup.org/lifted.
Wilbury’s Artistic Director Josh Short explains: “Wilbury Theatre Group has always aspired to be an artistic home for new and emerging artists, and a place that seeks to welcome all. It’s our goal to remove as many barriers as possible for all people to participate in live theatre. Our new Pay-What-You-Can model allows audience members to select a ticket tier that aligns with their means, creating an environment where work of all origins can be seen and celebrated.”
Board President Milly Massey agrees: “Wilbury is committed to developing a more equitable theatre experience. We aren’t offering a discount or a ‘comp’ available to a few, we are creating a new business model that relies on conscience, social responsibility, and respect. We see this as a covenant among our theatre, the artists, and the audience to create long-term sustainability.”
Adds Christine Treglia, Wilbury’s Front of House Manager: “We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to our community and look forward to officially launching this program with Lifted. Audience members have been extremely supportive of our new work and community engagement.”
Wilbury has been providing select Pay-What-You-Can performances for many years. However, their recent production with Haus of Glitter for The Historical Fantasy of Esek Hopkins, implemented an entirely Pay-What-You-Can structure. The reaction from the community was overwhelmingly positive, in terms of both attendance and financial support. Wilbury Theatre Group was encouraged by the early, positive results of this innovative approach, which catalyzed its decision to launch a Pay-What-You-Can structure.
“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” says Short about a permanent Pay-What-You-Can ticket structure. “However, it can be a huge leap. We have faith in our community to support our work and our artists as we continue to engage them in conversation and bring them new ways to experience live theatre.”