Pas­sion Play fills seats, de­spite rainy start

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa submi••ed

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.

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