Forget what you know about daylight savings time.
Marin Theatre Company is springing back.
Which may be a shrewd move forward.
Beginning last January, all evening shows at Marin Theatre Company are starting at 7:30 p.m. (instead of 8:00, as has been the tradition since, well, forever). This makes MTC the first theater in Marin County to adopt a change that has already been embraced in New York, Mississippi, and (closer to home) the city of Sonoma. In most cases, the thought behind the change is that people prefer not to stay out late so much, especially older audiences (who still make up the majority of live theater patrons). In some cases, it’s the opposite. Some people (younger audiences, who often need all the courting they can get to buy a theater ticket) prefer to get the early part of the evening over so they can go out with friends and talk about the show over a drink or two.
Kudos to MTC (and Sonoma’s equally trend-setting Sonoma Arts Live) for being willing to buck tradition and shake things up a bit.
The time change is only one savvy alteration being experimented with at MTC.
Earlier this year, they introduced free childcare, offering professional kid-sitting during one matinee show for each production of 2016. Starting this month, they have added some changes to make the free on-site childcare even more appealing, and to help get the word out about this first-in-the-area program.
Beginning this month, with the just-opened production of Rachel Bond’s ‘Swimmers,’ the kid-care program will be called ‘Sitter Saturdays,’ and have begun an outreach to appeal to more than just moms needing a theater break.
Says Sara Waugh, of MTC, “We want Dads, both parents, older siblings, etc. to take advantage of this offer!”
UrbanSitter, an accredited kid sitting service based in San Francisco, is sponsoring the program, placing skilled childcare professionals on-site to entertain children while their guardians catch a bit of live theater. Reservations are required, and can be made when tickets are purchased.
The next scheduled Sitter Saturday will take place on Saturday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m.