New initiative brings subscriptions downtown

An initiative spearheaded by Off Broadway troupe the Exchange and three other companies is applying a subscription model to an unorthodox multi-company season presented under the banner the Exchange NYC.

An XPass will be valid for four tix to a quartet of participating productions, with passholders entitled to one ticket to each production, four ducats to one production, or some other combination of their choice.

Participating productions from the 2010-11 season are the Civilians’ exploration of Brooklyn development “In the Footprint”; Talking Band with playwright Taylor Mac’s cross-country walking tale “The Walk Across America for Mother Earth”; Austin, Texas-based Rude Mechs’ upcoming Gotham presentation of “The Method Gun”; and the Exchange’s staging of Ronan Noone’s “The Little Black Dress.”

The XPass costs $85 — $45 less than buying four tickets at the box office — and it gives easy access to cancellation and transferability, thanks to a system of credits contained in each pass.

“You end up getting a nice cross-section of the theater community,” said Ari Edelson, a.d. of the Exchange. “Even more than that, for us, it broadens our current audience.”

The return, said Edelson, is giving the troupes control over theater space and the box office, as none of the four companies have a permanent home.

The idea behind the Xpass stemmed from the Exchange’s Orchard Project, a summertime new-work development program attended by some 30 Off Broadway theater companies.

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