Passion Play fills seats, despite rainy start
The 2016 season of the Canadian Badlands Passion Play has come and gone, and despite a rocky start, the show endured.
Right out of the gate, the weather proved challenging, but as the season neared closing, the seats filled back up.
“It was a mixture of everything, obviously rain was a major factor this year,” said The Canadian Badlands Passion Play executive director Vance Neudorf. “It was a factor going into the second weekend when we lost one of our shows.”
He said that after cancelling a show due to weather, it appeared patrons were hesitant to commit to the show.
“By the end of the second weekend, we were quite a ways behind the pace going into the final weekend,” said Neudorf. Then the sun came out. “Things began coming together and we wound up with the best third weekend we have had in a long time,” he said. “That put things back on track.”
“We were a little behind the pace, but when it comes down to straight numbers, we had the best in three years. We broke the 12,000-mark again,” he said.
Despite the bounce back, he says tough economic times also contributed to the Passion Play not quite making budget for this season.
“The difficulty with the economic downturn, everything from ticket prices to concession, you just don’t see as much uptake because people are more choosy with how they spend, that is just s reality you must face,” said Neudorf.
This was the third season the Passion Play has run for three weekends and Neudorf said this schedule is here to stay.
“From what we learned this year, if we had only had two weekends, the Passion Play would likely be closing its doors,” he said. “As a non-profit we don’t have cash reserves, and ticket sales only account for 50 per cent of our revenues.”
she oassion olay pos•ed some of i•s bes• a••endance numbers in years despi•e losing one performance •o rain.