How many of you save your Broadway ticket stubs?

I saved them all.

When I was younger, I’d get my Playbill, and that ticket stub (which is no longer a stub, thanks to ticketing scanners) would go right in the middle.

Full embarrassing disclosure: when I was in high school, I used to take the cover of my Playbills, the ticket stubs, and a few choice photos from inside the Playbill, and I’d create a poor-man’s decoupage that I framed and put on my nightstand.  I guess my hope was that they would help all of my Broadway dreams come true.  (My Secret Garden Playbill/photo combo even had an autograph from Daisy Eagan!)

Ok, so I was a lonely kid . . . but it was pretty obvious what I was going to do when I grew up.

This post isn’t about my awkward youth (there isn’t enough space on the entire internet for me to go into that), but rather that ticket . . . which for me, and for so many of you, I bet . . . was a souvenir.

And a souvenir is merch . . . and merch is marketing.

The ticket as a souvenir is slowly but surely disappearing as we transition to e-ticketing, and eventually mobile ticketing technology (having the ticketing scanners scan an image on your phone itself, which requires no paper product at all).

And as much as I’m a huge fan of this technology (and of all technology), it’s going to take us a long time to adopt it.


  • We’re always slow to adopt technology.
  • Our customers like hard tickets.

While hanging out at the booth last week, I watched a woman turn to another and say, “Did you get ’em?”  Her friend smiled, then fanned out five Billy Elliot tickets like a winning poker hand.  They both literally screamed with joy.  Now imagine what it would have been like if she showed her friend a UPC image on her phone.


Broadway tickets still have a Willy Wonka “Golden Ticket” effect that we don’t want to disappear too soon.

They are a tangible passport to entertainment that can create a positive emotional response about our product . . . whether or not you choose to frame it.

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UPDATE:  Two days after I wrote this blog, it was announced that New York State became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring paper tickets. To read more about it, click here.

A potpourri of posts in one.

Here’s a quick rundown of some stuff I’ve been meaning to tell you:

  • Got a new musical in development?  Submit it to the NYMF (the festival where Altar Boyz was born).  Their Early Bird deadline is coming up on 2/2 (final deadline is 3/2).  Read more about it, including a quote from me about how it helped us, here.
    • If you have questions about the NYMF, head over to the Q&A/social at the Irish Rogue on Wed. 1/28 at 6 PM)
    • If you haven’t finished your show in time for the deadline, then go finish your show in time for the deadline.
  • Speaking of Early Birds, TRU has an Early Bird Special going on for their latest “Boot Camp” on 1/24.  The subject of this Camp?  Everyone’s favorite, and the question that I get most often:  “Raising Money for Theater: How, Who and When to Ask”
    •  If you want to go, make sure you say that you are
      a “FRIEND OF KEN” when you register, and they’ll give you the Member
      Rate, even if you’re not a member. 
    • Save more money by registering by 1/19. 
  • 20at20, the 2 week Off-Broadway promotion where you can get $20 tickets for over 20 shows is back from 1/26 – 2/8.
    • Oh, and if you need a recommendation on 1, 2 or 3 shows to see, lemme know. 🙂
  • Here’s the interview I did for RNN TV on the current economic crisis and how it is affecting my shows.  Parental Discretion Advised, as it also features Time Out NY critic Adam Feldman.
  • Here’s an article about the Ticket Summit panel I was on earlier this month.
  • And this one deserves repeating . . . If you haven’t finished your show in time for the NYMF deadline, or whatever deadline you’ve set, then go finish your show!  I’ll even let you stop reading the blog if you promise to finish your show. 🙂  Title of Show it, yo!