A worthwhile up-close-and-personal in New York Mag. on Oscar Eustis at the Public, by Jeremy McCarter.
I take issue with both Eustis and McCarter's basic assumptions at the end, though.
For all his modest stands and impersonal choices, Eustis has been nurturing a big move of his own, one that might out-Papp even Papp. He has spoken in the past of his belief in “radical accessibility.” When I ask him to elaborate, he speaks deliberately. “There should be nobody economically excluded from seeing this work. I don’t know the best way to do it, but we do have a very successful model in the park: We give them all away."
For decades, steep ticket prices have hampered every attempt to reform the New York theater: high cost creates risk, which limits audiences and excludes the young, which leads to conservative programming, which saps energy and diversity, which sticks you with the overpriced superannuated mess we’re in today. If Eustis could somehow make every ticket free, that particular Gordian knot would be cut. Is that really what he intends?
First of all, as I have argued already, I strongly object to holding up the Shakespeare in the Park free tickets policy as a "successful" or admirable model. I also have had enough of people assuming young people don't go to the theatre just because of cost. We all know plenty of "yutes" of all economic backgrounds pay plenty (north of $80) for concerts. They don't go to theatre because they think they'll be bored. If they thought it might be halfway engaging, they'd gladly pay the $10 the pay for a movie. (A much more realistic and worthwhile goal for a ticket policy.)