According to the NY Times, the League of American Theaters and Producers released its 2006 - 2007 numbers. To paraphrase the article:
Tourists account for 65% of Broadway theatergoers (an increase from last year)
An all-time high of Broadway theatergoers were foreigners
The number of local attendees was at its lowest level in seven seasons
Broadway theatergoers are slightly more diverse than in the past.
Average Age 41
Median Income $98,900.00
Read the short piece here.
So what does this mean? Broadway is essentially a tourist attraction by most measures, and its relationship with the local audience is decreasing.
This isn't really news, other than the gaps are getting more pronounced. The question might really be... is there anything to be done about it? Does Broadway need to be "local" anyhow? Economically, I'm unsure if it would help these expensive shows to turn their attention to NYC-locals and market to them.
But if Broadway audiences should be, in your opinion, younger, less affluent and more local... what are steps to achieve that goal?
UPDATE: As usual, for matters of substance like this one, try Playgoer. Great, in-depth look at this material.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.