The ever-climbing price of theater tickets is a chronic problem that keeps many people from setting foot inside local playhouses.
In what is described as an attempt to “remove the cost barrier’’ of seeing live theater, the Huntington Theatre Company on Tuesday announced an initiative called the Community Membership program that will enable Greater Boston residents of “limited income’’ to purchase a ticket to “any available seat” at a Huntington performance for $15. The program, whose lead financial supporter is Sovereign Bank, is built on a partnership with more than 100 nonprofit agencies that serve low- or moderate-income communities.
Huntington artistic director Peter DuBois, who has said many times that he wants his theater’s audience to reflect its city, called that goal one of the Huntington’s “fundamental priorities” in a press release about the program. Managing director Michael Maso said in the release that the program’s aim is “to transform” members’ theatergoing “from a rarity to a regular practice.’’
According to the Huntington, more than 1,200 people from neighborhoods including Dorchester, Roxbury, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, South Boston, Mattapan, and Charlestown enrolled in the program during an 18-month pilot phase, buying nearly 3,000 tickets to Huntington shows. Huntington spokesperson Rebecca Curtiss said that while there is no income-eligibility cutoff, prospective members are required to enroll through service organizations and nonprofit groups whose eligibility is determined by the Huntington.