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February 23, 2009


Travis Bedard

Primary motivator for anyone to see anything is personal connection. More cast and more dancers = proportionally larger numbers of family and friends with a personal investment in your show.

There's a reason Grease done at a high school always makes money.


Also see the Muny in St. Louis. There's always at least one production in the summer where kids can participate, and it brings in the suburban families like crazy.

Don Hall

This is completely consistent with my experience.

Big casts equal lotsa word of mouth.

Adam Thurman

Maybe I should suggest my day job does Grease. Then again, the AD may shoot me if I do so.

I guess I'm shocked (though I probably shouldn't be) how much the number of performers you have on stage impacts both the expense end AND the revenue end.

Chris Casquilho

I'm in a remote area and all of my performers come from outside the area - so the friends/family factor is out. We do notice the larger cast/more people action - but usually the larger cast shows are bigger titles, too. What we do notice is that below 3 cast members there's sort of an audience malaise. Two fisters are not often popular, and our crowd really isn't into one-man shows.


So all those theaters who ask for plays that have 6 or fewer parts are sort of shooting themselves in the kneecaps?

Adam Thurman


Maybe. I think what they are trying to do is strike a balance between cast size and possible revenue.

Think about it this way, where I work every additional actor brings in about 10K worth of additional expense. That doesn't necessarily mean the revenue side balances that out.


Just wanna agree with all said so far, and to add that we're talking pretty much about shows who are using local performers (jobbers don't pull audience), and that there is a limit to this theory.

We've done shows with over 70 performers (no kids), but didn't do great box office. Maybe it's just nyc, but the show needs to have large enough roles (ours had 15 5-minute scenes) for the performers to want to invite folks.

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