The Ins and Outs of Ticketing
The Fredericton Playhouse box office is a busy hub, with ticketing staff constantly issuing tickets and offering advice and service to our patrons. It’s also an area of our business that inspires many questions.
The first thing patrons need to know is that there are a number of different ways to purchase tickets – online through our website or app, over the phone, or by visiting us in person. We’re open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on performance days the box office is open until the end of the first intermission. We are closed on weekends, except on performance days, when the box office opens four hours prior to the show until the end of the first intermission.
Of course, patrons are able to purchase tickets online 24/7. Our ticketing site is also optimized for use with mobile phones. Because of the convenience of online ticketing, we’ve noticed a growing trend toward online purchases over the years – during our 2015-2016 season, fully 43 per cent of all orders were placed online.
For the majority of performances at the Playhouse, patrons have the option of selecting their own seats – subject to availability. A map of the theatre showing the seating layout is provided on our website, and at the box office window. When purchasing online, you can either select your seats from an interactive seating chart or use the “Best Seat Available” option to have the system find the best seats for you.
The exception to this is “general admission” performances, such as those presented in our intimate backstage studio. For these events, patrons are guaranteed a seat, but will have to pick the location when they arrive for the show.
The box office is often quite busy, and not just on the days when tickets for a highly anticipated performance go on sale. In the 2015-2016 season, we issued 58,040 tickets, in 17,986 orders. In total, we processed nearly $1.5 million in transactions.
The Playhouse doesn’t just sell tickets for performances in our own venue – we also provide ticketing services for event organizers using other venues in our region. During the 2015-2106 season, we serviced 33 other events in various venues, including Theatre New Brunswick’s Open Space Theatre, Oromocto Pioneer Days and Fredericton High School’s Tom Morison Theatre.
If you’re planning to attend a show with a large group, be sure to let the box office staff know – many shows offer a special group rate, allowing you to save up to 20 per cent on the ticket price, depending on the size of the group.
Like any other ticketing operation, the Fredericton Playhouse charges nominal service charges on all orders, depending on how a patron chooses to purchase tickets and have them delivered. These fees are quite competitive compared with other ticketing services, and range from $2 for orders placed at our box office window, to $7.50 for tickets that are placed online or over the phone and then sent by mail to the patron. Printing your tickets at home can save on service charges, as can ordering your tickets in person.
One thing many people don’t realize is that the Playhouse has a very progressive return policy on tickets. Of course, in the unlikely event that a performance is cancelled, patrons are eligible for a full refund. But in the event something unexpected comes up and you are no longer able to attend the show for which you purchased tickets, we will gladly exchange your tickets for a box office credit that can be applied to future purchases. The only caveat is that tickets must be returned to the box office at least two hours before the scheduled performance so that we have ample opportunity to sell them to another patron.
One last note – if you’re interested in seeing a show that’s already sold out, don’t despair, just add your name to the wait list. Our box office staff will take down your information, and will contact you if seats become available. We often open up more seats as the date of the show draws closer, so there is still a good chance you’ll have the opportunity to purchase tickets.
Our box office is a huge part of the Fredericton Playhouse’s operations, and we want to ensure purchasing tickets is as straightforward and user-friendly as possible for our patrons. If you have questions about any of our policies, give the box office a call – our dedicated staff is here to help.
Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.