Research and Demographics

Since the launch of the Free Night of Theater program in 2005, annual research on the program and its participants has been vital to the ongoing success of the program.

Through the generous support of Mark Shugoll, and his company Shugoll Research, TCG has been able to survey the Free Night program attendees each year on their theatregoing habits (both pre and post Free Night), gather invaluable demographic information and ensure that the Free Night program continues to meet and exceed its goals.

Mark Shugoll summarized the research, "TCG's Free Night of Theater program continues to attract a more diverse audience in terms of age, race, income, and theatergoing experience to our not-for-profit theatres than our current audience. It is clearly helping to build audience as our research continues to show that first time attendees to participating theatres are returning as paying customers."

Here is the final report on the Shugoll research on TCG's Free Night 2008 program.

2008 Final Report

Study Overview and Key Conclusions

Sample Composition and Regional Demographics

Objective One: Profile Free Night of Theater Participants

Objective Two: Ticket Usage

Objective Three: Evaluation of Program

Objective Four: Impact of Free Night on Choosing A New Type of Theatre Experience

Objective Five: Impact of Free Night on Theatregoing Since the 2008 Program

Objective Six: Awareness of Non-Profit Theatres

Objective Seven: Reasons For Not Attending Theatre More and Strategies to Overcome

We'd also like to share the official Shugoll Research press release on the Free Night 2008 program:


Additional 2008 Program Research

Thanks to our good friends at Theatre Bat Area in San Francisco, TCG is pleased to announce our work with nationally recognized researcher Alan Brown, and his company WolfBrown, to conduct exciting Intrinsic Value Research of the San Francisco Free Night program.

The key finding bears out trends seen from follow-up surveys of previous Free Night campaigns and reports that giving away tickets not only works to attract new theatergoers to a free show, but also converts a significant number into future paying customers.

According to Brad Erickson, executive director of Theatre Bay Area and a participant in the Free Night program since its pilot launch in 2005, "This pilot study reveals the enormous contribution that the Free Night program can play, both in diversifying the demographic of theatre audiences and in helping non-profits extend and develop their base of loyal patrons." Added Alan Brown, "The value of this research lies not in the data, but in the quality of conversation that happens around the data."

For details on Alan Brown's research in San Francisco visit the Theatre Bay Area website at

2007 Final Report

Research by region and special reports