TheaterMania and parent company AudienceView have released a new Covid-19 impact report, featuring the results of a survey of our online community about the ongoing pandemic and what it will take for them to return to the theater.
The survey was carried out over a 14-day period, November 25-December 8, 2020, and included more than 3,300 patrons in the United States. Nearly 70 percent of the responders were above the age of 60, with 25 percent in the 40-59 age range, 5 percent in the 25-39 range, and less than 1 percent below the age of 25. Nearly 94 percent of the responders attended two or more theater productions per year before the Covid-19 shutdown
Responders were heavily invested in viewing online streaming content, with nearly 80 percent admitting to have watched content on platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, widely supplied by theater companies across the country, and nearly 60 percent of those patrons saying that they greatly enjoyed the events. Nearly two-thirds of of responders said that they paid to watch virtual events, a massive increase from the 26.4 percent of those we surveyed in May 2020.
When it comes to returning to in-person performances, 93.5 percent of patrons said that they would not attend an event that doesn't require mask-wearing, and 78 percent of responders said that they would not attend events before a vaccine is widely available. But a mandatory mask policy isn't enough; a majority of patrons want the policies to be strictly enforced and for offenders to be removed from the premises.
As for ticket-buying upon the return of live events, 78 percent of patrons are willing to pay more money for tickets to offset the revenue lost due to social distancing and other safety protocols. And while only 13 percent of the survey responders said they are actively purchasing tickets now for future live events, 78.6 percent said they plan on buying tickets to a virtual event within the next six months.