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The Duluth Playhouse's Discriminatory Policies

As some of you may know, the Little Pirate and I are in the production of "Holes" at the Duluth Playhouse, which is part of their Children's Theatre Arts series. It looks like it will be a good show and I'm very proud of the time & effort the cast and crew has put into the production.

However, I am extremely upset about the Playhouse's treatment of the cast & crew who volunteer their time on the Playhouse's children's productions. I was informed a few nights ago that the cast and crew of Children's Theatre Arts plays do not receive complimentary tickets (comps) in appreciation for their hard work. Meanwhile, the cast and crew of the regular season productions (adult plays) do receive two comps to their shows.

UPDATE: I received an explanation. There is not a set policy for comps, but the Playhouse does not give comps for children’s productions because they are trying to instill a sense of volunteerism in the youth. The adults in “Holes” can ask for comps and will probably receive them. My complaint was that I think the non-policy for comps should be equal for all productions (i.e. offered to everyone); I wasn’t fishing for comps so I won’t take them since they’re not offered to all of the cast & crew.

Anyway, I was told that they’re going to review this non-policy for next year so that it’s a little more equal.

As a cast member, I am insulted that my time is deemed less valuable than the time of those involved in a main season production. As a parent of a cast member and youth advocate, I am furious because I feel this policy is ageist. I feel that the Duluth Playhouse does not respect or appreciate the time and effort that these children put into these productions. Not to mention the time & effort these children’s parents put into these productions.


If they were smart, they'd give an odd number of comps (i.e. one for mom, but dad, grandma and grandpa have to pay).

Though if you are a cast member--from what I remember of working in the professional theatre arts for six years--you get a couple comps for every show. Maybe that's not as practical for the kid shows, but you would expect a couple of comps for at least a non-opening weekend show, perhaps.

It sounds like the name of that place near where I grew up where the Minnesota RollerGirls play. What's it's name... oh, yeah: Cheap Skate.

Yeah, that sucks. Giving a couple of comps for parents doesn't seem to diminish the volunteerism they are trying to instill in the kids.

I'm guessing that other adult volunteers on kid productions haven't really raised the issue in the past. Kids would probably not even know what comp tickets are. I hope the playhouse amends their policy so it is more fair.

Course the counter claim is, if they DID provide comps as a means of saying thank you, they could have a lot more volunteers. As it is it sounds like they are trying a cut-rate social engineering project out on other people's kids.

E: That's exactly what I think. For the last few weeks, I've been promoting the play and the Playhouse's youth programs. I'll continue promoting the play, but to those whom I've raved about the youth programs, I'm letting them know about this policy. I'm also not enrolling LP in an upcoming program, which means there not getting $145 bucks fom me.

Cathy, most likely they'll change the policy so that no one involved in productions will receive comps. Instead, they'll have an open dress rehearsal.

And thank you Adam & Starfire for your comments. It's nice to be supported.

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