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Posted by tim koch on February 21, 2013 at 9:49 AM · Report this
My god, do I agree (I don't have any, myself, but I know people who do!). The greatest barrier to this is probably finding and paying people who are licensed to be in a room with stranger's kids for an extended amount of time. When the theatre is already broke, this probably looks prohibitively expensive.
Posted by zobot on February 21, 2013 at 9:58 AM · Report this
Kinison 3
This idea is great for single parents or couples with plenty of disposable income, who have no friends or family that would normally babysit.
Posted by Kinison on February 21, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 4
Dude I am not handing my child over to a fucking actor.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on February 21, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this
I have been telling the theatres that call me, trying to convince me to re-subscribe, this EXACT THING for several years. I've actually been referring them to your article, Brendan. The response is always, "Yeah... we'll look into that..." which frustrates me to no end. How hard could it possibly be? They'd open themselves up to a (very desirable) demographic! I'd subscribe, and ALL MY FRIENDS WITH KIDS WOULD TOO.
Posted by Emily on February 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this

Not to mention what providing child care services would do to a theatre's insurance liability.

And then there's the practical matter of what room in an already crowded facility would theatres have to convert to accommodate this? Large organizations can probably squeeze out an under-used office or some-such, but it's completely unrealistic for small companies such as those at the Fringe level to carve out the extra space, when they already have actors doing costume changes in their lounges and hallways, because there's not enough room to accommodate them anywhere else. And then there's the noise issue: most small venues simply don't have the option to create a dedicated, sound-proofed space far enough away from their stage that one screaming child wouldn't disrupt the performance for the entire audience.

But, even if theatre companies could overcome these obstacles, they're most likely going to have to up their ticket prices to cover the additional expenses (or would patrons really expect this service to be offered gratis? Ha!), which either means the entire audience is going to be subsidizing this service for a few, or else I suppose you could add a "child-care upcharge" to the ticket price for patrons bringing their children, in which case, it's probably going to turn out to be just as costly as it would if they'd just hired a baby-sitter in the first place.

Finally, why are we limiting this discussion just to live theatre? Surely, these same parents would also be interested in going out to musical concerts, movies, art galleries, et al? So, why no move to "encourage" these venues to provide child-care services as well?

Sorry folks, but if you NEED to take your little ones out with you in order to have an evening of culture, try Seattle Childrens' Theatre; that's what they're there for.
Posted by COMTE on February 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
The Group Theater, sadly no longer with us, initiated this idea in 1990. Yes, 1990. My son started attending when he was 1 month old and went until they stopped performing. They had wonderful, professional child care workers and great activities. When they moved from the UW to Seattle Center, they used the Children's Museum facilities. It was great!
Posted by Jett on February 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM · Report this
As a father of two children, this is brilliant!
Posted by Why are there cars? on February 21, 2013 at 5:00 PM · Report this

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