Talk of the Commonwealth’s Hank Stolz spoke with Lisa Condit, The Hanover Theatre’s director of marketing and public relations, and Barry and Jean Alman, Franklin Square Society members and Loyal Subscribers of the theatre’s Broadway Series. Read on for highlights from their WCRN 830AM Radio interview, including the latest on how our community is planning for the future and what we’re giving back to our most loyal subscribers.
Hank: I don’t know if you’ve gotten this feedback from others, but for myself, when I get that message from The Hanover Theatre, and I see a new date and a new tour and that tickets are going to be on sale, I love that for a couple of reasons. One, because it’s going to be a great show and it’s something to look forward to. But two, because it just tells me that there is going to be this return.
The things we love, they’re coming back!
Lisa: That’s exactly right, and that’s what’s sustaining us really.
It is tough. We are a non-profit organization that depends on events and people coming together for 80% of our revenue. That’s significant. It’s dire for everybody, and we need to be aware of that.
Barry: There are so many people that think it is the government’s job to support the arts. I understand that the arts cannot survive without the public’s support. I actually signed up for a course in the conservatory for theatre lighting, and I look forward to doing that in the future.
Lisa: You guys are a great example of consistency, loyalty and support.
Jean: I just would like to say that I really like the building, the people, performances, and I have had such a great time there.
Lisa: You are Broadway subscribers and donate to our fund. Recently you said, “Before I’m asked, I want to make a donation.” Tell us about that decision that you decided to make.
Barry: We talked about it, and we have a pretty good feel of what the coronavirus is going to be like, and, unfortunately, it’ll likely be long term. I understand the concept of all of the fringe things that go on. People don’t realize that you’ve got bartenders, security, vendors, local musicians and everyone that gets involved. Then, if things aren’t happening at the theatre, things aren’t happening for those people and you can’t pay a payroll. Jean and I totally trust The Hanover Theatre and its leadership, and they can choose whatever they wish to do with it, and I know they put it towards the resiliency fund, which is a great thing.
Lisa: I am a subscriber. That means that my ticket money is sitting with The Hanover Theatre. I don’t want my ticket money back. I already spent it. I already know it’s gone, and I was looking forward to going and sharing those shows with friends and family. So, this is what we’re really asking our loyal subscribers. We are launching this new loyal subscriber program for existing seven show subscribers to renew before we make the new season announcement. Not only are they going to get 120% of their ticket value back to be able to be applied to next year’s subscription series, we are holding their rates for the next two years.
We want to recognize the people who are going above and beyond for us.
Barry: We have been avid members and we support everything we possibly can at the theatre. Whatever the schedule is, you can count on Jean and me and we look forward to it. And we, of course, love all of the other shows that you do.
Lisa: People ask a lot, “What’s the best thing we can do for The Hanover Theatre right now?” And, honestly, the best thing that people can do is, instead of taking that refund on a ticket that they already planned for, to reinvest it.
We need to know that people are going to want to come back to our theatre and renew their subscriptions for next year, even though we can’t announce our shows until May. Joining our new Loyal Subscriber automatic renewal program is a great way to help, and I’m glad Barry and Jean are going to do it.
We will get through this, but we’re going to have a lot of hard work ahead of us. The most important thing for us is to plan for that future.