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The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival turns 5: By the numbers

The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival turns 5: By the numbers

2016: 'Austen's Pride: A New Musical of 'Pride and Prejudice''

Mr. Darcy (Gregory Mahue) and Elizabeth Bennet (Heather Botts) share a tense dance together in the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival’s production of "Austen's Pride" at the Callahan Theater at the Nazareth College Arts Center in Rochester.

The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival marked its fifth season in 2016.

Here's a numerical look at how the festival has fared, as well as what goes into producing a season:

Box office income*

(Source: The festival's annual filings with the Charities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office.)

2011: $1,968,567**

2012: $2,082,235***

2013: $2,048,304

2014: $1,830,486

2015: $1,703,510

2016: Unavailable

*Income does not include revenue from contract services and other programs (e.g. the Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre), contributions from private sources (e.g. the Emerson Foundation) or state and local government grants (e.g. the New York State Council on the Arts, Cayuga County).

**The festival officially launched in 2012, but 2011 featured a pilot run of "Cooking with the Calamari Sisters" at Auburn Public Theater to prepare. 

***Number calculated by adding box office values for both Merry-Go-Round Playhouse Inc. as well as Musical Theatre Festival Inc., an entity that managed the festival's downtown theater project separately from its other operations. 2012 was the only year Musical Theatre Festival reported any box office income.)

Total expenses

(Source: Charities Bureau filings.)

2011: $3,546,344

2012: $3,424,492

2013: $4,923,653

2014: $4,601,286

2015: $4,136,330

2016: Unavailable

Number of shows

(Source: Provided by the festival.)

2011: 175 (five productions at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, one at Auburn Public Theater)

2012: 270 (six productions at the playhouse and three at APT, with 10 weeks of The Pitch at the Cayuga Museum Carriage House Theater)

2013: 244 (five productions at the playhouse and two at APT, with 10 weeks of The Pitch)

2014: 249 (five productions at the playhouse and one at APT, with 10 weeks of The Pitch)

2015: 195 (six productions at the playhouse and one at APT, with seven weeks of The Pitch)

2016: 199 (seven productions at the playhouse and one at Nazareth College, with seven weeks of The Pitch)

2017: 142 (five productions at the playhouse and five weeks of The Pitch)

Ticket sales

(Source: Provided by the festival.)

2011: 56,406

2012: 58,581

2013: 58,750

2014: 54,154

2015: 51,449

2016: 53,491

Sell-out percentage

(Source: Calculated by The Citizen using ticket sales and the overall number of seats available in a given festival season.)

2011: 76.7

2012: 61.6

2013: 68.7

2014: 61.3

2015: 64.6

2016: 54.9*

*Only year to include the 1,012-seat Callahan Theater at Nazareth College.

Average ticket price

(Source: Calculated by The Citizen by averaging adult, senior and next-generation pricing tiers.)

Subscriber: $31.46 (national average $33.97, according to the Theatre Communications Group's Theatre Facts 2015 report)

Single: $43.60 for Merry Go-Round Playhouse only, $37.75 for the playhouse and The Pitch (national average $36.12)

Full-time equivalent jobs

(Source: Provided by the festival, and calculated by taking the total number of hours staff worked that year and dividing by 2,080 hours [40 hours a week for 52 weeks].)

2011: 67

2012: 82

2013: 75

2014: 75

2015: 69

2016: 83

Ticket sales by county, 2016

(Source: Provided by the festival.)

Onondaga: 30 percent

Cayuga: 27

Monroe: 11

Tomkins: 4

Oswego: 3

Seneca: 3

Ontario: 3

Wayne: 3

Cortland: 1

Madison: 1

Oneida: 1

Yates: 1

Erie: 1

Chemung: 1

Broome: 1

Other New York counties: 4

Outside New York: 5

Tickets sales by age, 2016

(Source: Provided by the festival and based on age tiers of ticket sales, which doesn't account for the ages of people who had tickets purchased for them.)

Seniors: 73.7 percent

Adults: 19.4

Next generation: 4.3

Other: 2.6

Producing the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival's 2016 season

(Source: The festival provided the following numerical breakdown of the resources that went into producing its 2016 season.)

• 800 feet of LED tape

• 100 gallons of paint

• 917 Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre performances

• 252 employees and cast members

• 410 costumes made and altered

• 2,500 auditionees

• 131,245 miles traveled to New York state schools by the youth program

• $32,294 spent in postage

• 1,500 square feet of muslin

• 77 school districts visited

• 25,000 staples and screws used

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


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I'm the features editor for The Citizen and, and have been here since 2006. I also cover local arts and culture, business, food and drink, and more.

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