Have you ever had season tickets at a regional theatre? During my senior year of high school, I was lucky enough to be subscribed to the Hartford Stage’s 2012-2013 season. (Thanks Mom & Dad!)
The Hartford Stage is a Tony-Award winning regional theatre in Hartford, Connecticut. I grew up seeing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, their annual production of A Christmas Carol, and more throughout my youth. My Dad had purchased a subscription for he and my mother that year, and after seeing the first production of the season: Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, they felt compelled to include me in all the fun.
I’m a Theatre person and have been all my life. Never before had I entered a performance space without knowing what the story’s about, knowing who the characters are, what the set would look like. Since we had tickets to all the shows in the season, I went to all of them, and I went completely blind. I often had no idea what the play was about and had no expectation of what should happen.
It was exhilarating.
The best part of having a ticket subscription is going into each production with the mindset of ‘NO SPOILERS’. I refrained from looking up the plot, photos of set design, costume design, anything. It was all a surprise! Granted, there were some productions that I had prior knowledge of, I had seen Kiss Me Kate before, I knew the story of Twelfth Night, but that didn’t stop me from being open and excited to whatever happened on stage.
The Hartford Stage also produces many world premieres of new plays, and so I got to see musicals like A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, and Anastasia before they made it to Broadway. I was so excited to see Gentleman’s Guide win the Tony-Award for Best Musical, I kept thinking ‘Whoa! I saw that in my own backyard before it even went to New York!’
My favorite production during the 2012-2013 season was a play called Abundance by Beth Henley (Pulitzer Prize-Winning playwright of Crimes of the Heart), directed by Jenn Thompson. Abundance follows Bess and Macon, two mail-order brides and their twenty-five-year journey across the American frontier in the late 19th century. I still think about this show and it has become one of my favorite plays. And you know what? I probably wouldn’t have even gone to see it if I did not have a season subscription because I had never heard of the play beforehand.
A season subscription can give you gifts you didn’t even know you wanted! My favorite way to go see a show is with the ‘NO SPOILERS- Season Subscription mindset!’ Try going to see a production with no prior knowledge of who it’s by, what the story’s about, or who’s in it. Let me know how it is! Or better yet- purchase a Season Subscription to a local regional theatre near you! Trust me, it’ll be worth it! 🙂