Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What's the deal with a Preview?

What is a preview?

We get this question a lot. Folks want to know if they'll see a whole performance, or if a preview is really a rehearsal that will stop and start.

A preview is simply one of the first (or in some cases the first) performance for an audience. In most cases, just like in New York, previews are priced less than the later performances, starting with the official "opening night."

So, to answer those common questions:
  • YES! You will absolutely see a full production.
  • NO! A preview is not a rehearsal that will stop and start. Seeing a preview is seamless to an audience member.
For a locally produced show, it is often the first opportunity for the actors and crew members to gauge audience reaction -- when are people going to laugh? When are people going to applaud? Should that light cue come a half second earlier? Should that music cue be one second later? Large touring Broadway shows also may choose to have previews. These shows already have a good gauge of audience reaction and their technical needs since they have probably performed their show hundreds of times, but they are adjusting to a new space. So, they might need to cue a scenic element to fly in a few seconds earlier or later than they did in their last city, because it has to travel a longer (or shorter) distance.

These minor behind-the-scenes adjustments are to make the cast and crew more comfortable in their new surroundings.

Any comments or questions about previews (or anything else)? Let us know and we'll be happy to answer!


Anonymous said...

I would like to buy a preview ticket how do I do that.

David Jenkins said...

Anon - for what show?

Your best bet is calling the ticket office and asking if a show you'd like to see has a preview performance. Typically speaking, all of the multi-week shows in the Shimberg and Jaeb have them, and some of the Broadway shows have them.