‘Hedda’ helps push STC profit for season

Standing-room tix sold out every night, sub packages sales grew

SYDNEY — The Sydney Theater Company’s season of “Hedda Gabler” toplining Cate Blanchett achieved 105% capacity during its 11-week season in the company’s intimate 331-seat Wharf 1 Theater last year.

Releasing its 2004 annual report this month, STC general manager Rob Brookman said the production was the subsidized company’s most profitable ever.

Standing-room tickets sold out every night, and the company recorded 23% growth in the sale of subscription packages overall.

“Victory,” directed by and starring Judy Davis, also sold out every performance of its six-week season. Other hits of 2004 were David Williamson’s “Amigos,” starring Garry McDonald, and “The Unlikely Prospect of Happiness,” a new work by Tony McNamara directed by Jeremy Sims and starring several faces new to the STC.

Brookman tells Variety the STC needed to achieve between 82% and 84% paid attendance to record a surplus on shows.

The production of “Blythe Spirit” directed by Roger Hodgeman was the only other show to achieve this benchmark.

Overall box office climbed 7% to A$10.8 million ($8.2 million), sponsorship income rose by 5% to $988,000, and the company recorded a modest surplus of $9,496.

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