The Economics of Theatre in Mumbai
H13101 | Sanika Gokhale
Cast of Characters
Ace Productions: The only Production House in Mumbai to launch mega productions in English Scene
I always felt that my education in Mass Media and professional experience in theatre was never in tandem with the MBA program. However, after our preliminary course on Economics and the hunt for a topic where the concepts we learnt could be applied I went back to my theatre days and was surprised with the several connections with monopoly, monopsony, demand and supply, price discrimination to name a few. Time
Setting : Currently, the scenario of theatre in Mumbai is such that there is a relatively large audience for regional plays in Marathi, Gujarati, and Hindi. However, serious English theatre still remains a niche market. Tickets are priced much higher than movie tickets thus making it unaffordable for many. In an industry such as this, huge investments in terms of money and time is required, plays generally work on preceding legacies or big names. Thus if you have neither, the production house maybe taking a huge risk venturing into the arena.
As a result of the above, there are a very few players in the market and as far my knowledge and experience tells me, only Ace Productions ventures into mega productions- making it a near monopoly. Curtain Rise: National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) has various theatres under its umbrella, out of which Tata Theatre and Jamshed Bhabha Theatre are the largest and thus most expensive auditoriums to rent. When plays don’t make sufficient profits they can’t afford the above, as is the case with most groups in Mumbai. It is thus safe to assume that Ace Productions is the sole buyer for NCPA along with the rare International groups that perform in Mumbai. This creates a monopsony market with Ace productions having a choice between three other auditoriums to choose from that meet its requirements. Therefore while...
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