GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Green Bay Packers have something in common with the theater scene.
Mobile ticketing has arrived.
More is happening with cell phones at many Northeastern Wisconsin performance theaters.
COVID-19 has sped up the arrival into the future for many theatergoers.
The catalyst: No-touch protocols.
In a first, Lawrence University forced people to used their phones to read the program for a production of “The Marriage of Figaro” presented in early March 2020.
For paper-saving reasons, playgoers had to access a QR code to see who was who and what was what on stage.
I scoffed at that time.
The word “pandemic” was not yet resuscitated.
A few weeks later, though, the hammer fell. March 12, 2020, is the date most live performances stopped nationwide.
And then, by the time theater at large crept out of a dark age caused by the coronavirus, a transition had taken traction with a lot of variety.
Here are samples from current situations:
+ Sometimes, you buy a mobile ticket digitally but still receive a full printed program.
+ Sometimes, there is only a digital program, which causes some people to distract others by beaming up in the middle of a performance.
+ Sometimes, there is a skeleton program that’s printed, with a QR code for a full one that’s digital.
+ Sometimes, you can still receive a printed program yet have access to the digital version.
+ Some theaters continue to solely print paper tickets.
+ The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton allows entry by either.
I think the die has been cast, and most theaters eventually will take on mobile ticketing and digital play programs.
In many theaters, printed programs will be a thing of the past.
What will remain is the live experience on stage, a whole living world of the wonders of music and all the thoughts and adventures of theater.