Cleveland Public Theatre has had a long-standing 'Choose-What-You-Pay' model that let theatre-goers set the price of remaining tickets on the night of a given show. And that pricing model largely became the standard for them as things moved exclusively to online streaming formats during the pandemic. Folks would be greeted with a blank donation field into which they could enter whatever dollar amount they wanted while registering for a spot in the Zoom audience of one of their shows. And now, as their new 2021/22 season starts to get underway, CPT has announced that all tickets going forward will be sold under the Choose-What-You-Pay model.

In the press release, CPT's artistic director, Raymond Bobgan, points out the already substantial gap between box-office revenue and actual production costs, and makes the case that they've always prioritized accessibility:

CPT believes theatre is essential. Our typical Box Office only covers one-fifth of the cost of a production and if patrons paid for the value of the ticket, pricing would no longer represent what we also believe to be true: theatre must be economically accessible. We balance this belief with a fundamental assumption that art is of great value and we undertake our work at great cost. We believe in our audiences to choose what is best and appropriate. And we believe audiences are artists in their own way and great theatre needs great audiences. You are an essential part of the CPT experience. I can’t wait to be at the theatre with you.

You can read the full note on their site here.