Last Season's Broadway Audience 'Whiter Than Ever,' New Report Claims
A new report shows that Broadway's audience is becoming increasingly homogeneous. The 2010-11 season saw a large dip in foreign patrons, while caucasians increased to 83 percent of the 12.5 million attendees, up from 76 percent of the 11.9 million attendees for the 2009-10 season.
The report, released annually by The Broadway League, showed a 10 percent decline in ticket purchases from foreign tourists while domestic visitor attendance rose by 10%. So what is behind the shifting theater-goer demographic? One possible factor could be the bevy of new productions that arrived on the scene. International visitors are usually more attracted to shows that are older, given that they have developed a larger reputation over time.
However, the last quarter of the season did see a surge in international attendees when several high-profile new shows, such as "The Book of Mormon" and movie adaptations like "Sister Act" and "Priscilla Queen of The Desert," started their runs. While the correlations may seem a little murky, 1.77 million ducats of foreign ticket sales versus 1.96 million for the previous season is a staggering statistic to leave unexplained.
The report was compiled from 5,750 returned surveys that were originally distributed to theatergoers at 27 productions at roughly 78 individual performances.