Some theater fans who have been season ticket-holders to the Broadway series at the Durham Performing Arts Center are crying foul at what they say are exorbitant increases for the 2018-19 season.
Jeff Edgar of Durham is one of those season ticket holders.
“We belong to the third tier of subscribers (called Broadway’s Best) and have paid about $1,200 for two tickets to eight shows,” Edgar wrote to The Herald-Sun. “This year, without request or notice, DPAC changed our seats to now be in the second tier (Gold Circle). This means our same seats will now go for almost $2,400.”
The mailing came after DPAC announced its 2018-19 season Feb. 16, which includes the Broadway historical hit “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Hamilton” will open the DPAC season with a Nov. 6-Dec. 2 run.
Edgar said his seats are still in the same spot, but DPAC did not explain in his renewal notice that he has been placed in a higher-priced bracket. He sent an email and said he didn’t receive a clear explanation. His wife also has left phone messages at DPAC that have not been returned, he said.
Repeated attempts to reach DPAC officials Thursday and Friday for comment were not successful.
If “Hamilton” costs more to produce for DPAC, then Edgar said he would understand the higher rate, but DPAC has not given an explanation, he said.
In a report on WUNC radio, Sherri Holmes said her 2018-19 single seat season ticket jumped to almost $900, up from $600 last season. Holmes is the founder of Triangle Friends of African American Arts.
“It’s gone up every single year since we’ve been there, and now they’re able to go up so much because ‘Hamilton’ is coming,” Holmes told WUNC. “And so everybody wants to stick in, hang in with ‘Hamilton.’”
The DPAC website lists a range of season ticket prices for 2018-2019. The Super Saver packages range from $22.67 to $28.38 a month, with prices depending on seat location. Gold Circle seats range from $80.67 to $97.21 a month. The highest priced tickets are the President’s Club, which start at $3,599. Other categories are Value Circle, Broadway’s Best and Heart of Broadway.
DPAC’s website states that the venue may not be able to accommodate additional season ticket purchases for the 2018-19 season “due to an unprecedented number of season seats sold this past season.” The site allows patrons who want to buy season tickets for 2018-2019 to sign up for a waiting list.
Tickets for all new performances in the series are expected to be in high demand. Tickets to the 32 performances of “Hamilton” are expected to go on sale in August, according to DPAC’s website. For the other seven shows that will be part of the new season, a limited number of tickets for non-members will be available. These seats are expected to go on sale this summer and fall.