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Positively Philadelphia: Theatre Company's Admission Is 'Pay What You Decide'

By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia theatre company is doing something that has never been done before in this country.

"I can decide what I think it's worth after I watch it."

That's right, you don't pay anything until after you've seen the play.

Azuka Theatre producing artistic director, Kevin Glaccum talks about paying what you decide.

"So audience members may come out and say, 'That's the best thing I've ever seen. Here's fifty dollars. We loved it so much.' Or, 'I didn't really like that. Here's five dollars for your effort. However, I'll come back and see the next show.'"

The idea came from England.

"The article we read in the Guardian started with, 'When was the last time you got a postcard for a company you've never heard of for a show you've never heard of, and you said let's drop fifty bucks on that this weekend?' It just doesn't happen."

And Azuka is hoping this will bring more people into the theatre.

"This way people can get our postcard and say 'I've never heard of this company, maybe, or this show because it's brand new, but I can decide what I think it's worth after I watch it, so let's go down and check it out.'"

The Azuka Theatre is one of several companies that perform at the Drake, on the 1500 block of Spruce Street in Center City.

"Azuka Theatre is 17 years old. The mission of the company is, we give voice to the people whose stories go unheard. The first show is 'How We Got On,' by Idris Goodwin. And this is about three young African-American kids in the Midwest in the mid-1980s who want to be rappers."


And Philadelphia is becoming a hot spot for playwrights.

"We're really enabling folks to make their careers here and not feel that they need to leave town to have their work seen."


And for this week, that's "Positively Philadelphia!"

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