Playwrights and directors generally hope they’ll have a sold-out show. Turns out that long before any hype or promotion for a given production there are some consistent trends that lead to a full or empty house.
The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) regularly works with the Census Bureau to survey what’s happening with arts attendance. The numbers from 2008 made them want to do a bit more number crunching. That’s where NORC at the University of Chicago came into play.
Nick Rabkin is a research affiliate at NORC and co-author of the report "Arts Education in America: What the Declines Mean for Arts Participation". Rabkin joined Eight Forty-Eight to explain some of his findings.