Opening nights – the big fights

J. Kelly Nestruck wrote today about conflicting opening nights, pointing out how common they are in Toronto, and how unnecessary they are.

A while ago I wrote a piece about getting people to attend shows, and how important timing is in that whole thing.  In the comments to that entry Philip Akin pointed out the very useful TAPA Opening Night Directory.  Nestruck pointed out the same resource in his article today.

As Nestruck says:

While Toronto does have a large, sprawling theatre scene, the city’s main theatre companies shouldn’t have to open show on the same night. Last week, Soulpepper, CanStage, Tarragon and Mirvish could have easily spread their opening nights out Tuesday through Friday.

Why didn’t they work together? Well, each company has its excuses, but there’s really no good reason for it.

Unfortunately I have no suggestions for how to deal with this.  Theatre in Toronto doesn’t seem to have one unified advocacy voice, which makes things like this a bit difficult.