For the cost of a ticket: musings about seeing Miss Julie

There is a show I want to see, an apparently amazing production of Miss Julie at Aurora Theatre in Berkeley directed by Mark Jackson, apparently one of the Bay Area’s finest. I have seen one workshop project Jackson created with A.C.T., which was pretty great, but I have yet to see a full production of his and I am anxious to do so. But I don’t have tickets yet (even though it sold out its run and is now opening up an extension) because the tickets on the website are $40 a piece. What the what!? I guess I haven’t bought a full price ticket for the theater in a while. Do people really pay that much? You dear souls! That’s why Berkeley Rep lists their season subscription holders with the donors in the back of their program.

I didn’t think I needed to ever see Miss Julie. I don’t particularly like Miss Julie. I remember teaching Miss Julie as a TA in grad school. I remember directing 30 minutes of the play with two students for a classroom presentation for extra credit. The classroom was cluttered with desks. It was in the basement. It had no windows. Three walls were concrete; the other was, oddly enough, some sort of carpet. It wasn’t good, but it was a teaching tool. The student who played Jean was a terrible student and one of the best writers I had ever taught. Both the professor and I secretly, independently investigated to see if he was cheating. He wasn’t. He was just a damn good writer and didn’t give a shit about the course. I liked him a lot.

My favorite version of Miss Julie is the futurist version my friend and I “wrote” as a string of futurist adaptations of work from the canon:

Lights up.
With a cleaver, Jean cuts the head off a parakeet.
Lights down.

gambitBut I look forward to Jackson’s production . . . not that I am going to pay full price to see it. With that I could see X-men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, and Star Trek and even have popcorn at one of them. I’ll trade you Terminator Salvation and the popcorn, but that’s it . . . alright I might be able to wait for Star Trek to come out on Netflix, but no way about Wolverine, not with Taylor Kitsch playing Gambit. No way!

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3 thoughts on “For the cost of a ticket: musings about seeing Miss Julie

  1. Yes, tickets really are that expensive. I think even in my hometown (a small city in a rural part of a southern state) tickets to the local professional theatre were $35.00. I can’t afford to see the shows I want to see here in NYC. Its really sad. No wonder there is not a wide audience for theatre … the risk of buying a ticket is untenable.

  2. Whoa! Thanks Elizabeth. I knew about Goldstar, but not about this Tix Bay Area site! Superb.

    And, Shari, it is really frustrating but I am not sure I buy into the “risk” argument. Is it “risky” for people like us–who know how good theater can be–to see bad theater? I think it is risky for US to charge audience members who might frequent the theater with less regularity high prices for potentially impotent shows because we could easily lose them to film, et al. But for we who work in the theater–who, if we are LUCKY, aren’t making much more than what we need to make ends meet–I think it is less about risk and more about trade-off.

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