Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Missing out on the McCarter

I really enjoy David Sedaris' books, and I remember one day freshman year someone casually mentioned at dinner that he'd be speaking at the McCarter in just an hour or two. The event hadn't been well-publicized, despite Sedaris' renown, and I couldn't stand the idea of missing him. Hurrying down University, I got to the McCarter with a friend, only to find out that because people living in Princeton had known about the event and were flocking there en masse, there were no tickets left.

Given the option of waiting, we did, and they found some tickets just before Sedaris came on stage. We bought them with those random-colored Tiger Tickets no one really uses, and managed not only to hear Sedaris read, but to meet him afterwards and get our books signed. It was an incredible opportunity - and one that I almost missed.

Rufus Wainwright was here this week, and that, too, nearly slipped by. I had a commitment and missed it, but perhaps I could have planned ahead and managed to go if I'd known more than a day or two in advance - he's a well-known musician whose music is popular, and I was surprised there wasn't more buzz about his concert on campus.

The McCarter calendar boasts some of the campus' most interesting events, and everyone I know has scads of Tiger Tickets to see anything they'd want to watch there for free - but no one does. The events I've attended there have been heavily attended by adults who live in town, but few undergraduates are aware of them; they might show up on Point, or they might not, and they fly largely under the radar of most undergraduates.

I don't know how undergraduates can be made more aware of the McCarter's calendar, but on a campus that seems to have gone so program-heavy that I hardly want to attend any events, much less the 17 different ones I get daily emails about, some of these are really noteworthy. I'm going to make a note of keeping my eyes open about them - you might want to do the same!


Anonymous said...


Hi--I found your post just now. Thanks for your thoughts on this. I manage marketing for McCarter, and we're constantly seeking new ways to reach the University community. We advertise each of our events in the Daily Princetonian (usually on Thursdays, in The Street section), and your orange Tiger Tickets are always good for free tickets to our events. We also regularly poster campus, and utilize several different listservs to get the word out on a regular basis.

We also strive for a strong presence in town--our posters and bimonthly McCarter News can be found at over eighty locations on and around Nassau Street, including right outside the Wawa.

If you'd prefer online updates, we update our Facebook page at least twice a week--search for "McCarter Theatre Center" and become a fan to get regular Facebook updates on all things McCarter (Rufus Wainwright, in particular, received a great deal of early promotion on Facebook--we announced it there weeks before it hit our own website or McCarter News).

What all of this comes down to is we're always open to new ideas and inroads regarding the promotion of our events to the university community.

I'd love to chat further with you about this; feel free to drop me a line at, or give me a call at 258-6527.

Anonymous said...

I've never had problems finding out about McCarter events by looking at Point. Not many people actually look at the Point list of events though.

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling that McCarter doesn't really want students to come. They don't make money off Tiger Tickets, and townies probably would rather enjoy their concerts in peace. I could be wrong though.