For the much smaller Constellation Theatre Company, though, the idea of reprising a popular show has been a grand experiment, but it may be more for the glory than for the bucks.
A bit of net profit wasn’t the only reason that Constellation’s Allison Arkell Stockman decided to remount the popular 2010 show “The Ramayana,” but the artistic director was hoping for it.
The remount, however, has proved to be more of a learning experience than a purse-filler for the four-year-old troupe. Stockman’s colorful staging of the ancient Indian epic, which continues at Source through Aug. 21, involved 21
2 weeks of rehearsal to incorporate six new actors, or about half the cast; alterations to the elaborate costumes for the newbies; and rental fees for the intimate Source space, which seats a maximum of 120.
Stockman says the three-week run won’t be long enough to make back the $65,000 cost of the remount. Her small company operates on an annual budget of $350,000, about 70 percent of it from donations and 30 percent from ticket sales. Stockman estimates that Constellation will take a loss of $10,000 to $15,000 on its “Ramayana” revival, even though tickets were selling at more than 60 percent of capacity before previews began Aug. 4.
But she says there’s a positive side to bringing back a show that won strong reviews and a Helen Hayes Award for percussionist-composer Tom Teasley’s sound design. “On just ticket sales, we will lose money, but I think on audience growth and the support of people that are newly invested or reinvested [in Constellation] because of the show . . . it will be a positive financial thing for us,” Stockman said.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s high-profile remount of “Clybourne Park” is sold out through its Aug. 14 closing. Jeffrey Herrmann, Woolly’s managing director, said in an e-mail that the revival “has officially become the highest grossing show in the theatre’s history.” The first run of the show, in spring 2010, was previously Woolly’s highest-selling show, he said.
The company “budgeted very conservatively” for the remount and increased performances to eight per week in response to demand, Herrmann said. Despite the recent loss of a government grant worth about $225,000 — about 5 percent of Woolly’s $4.2 million budget — he expects Woolly to finish its 2011 fiscal year in the black because of “Clybourne Park” and increased fundraising efforts.