September 17, 2012

Hartford Stage - Age Discrimination Fail

So Hartford Stage is marketing to the young.

Stage Pass

Introducing a $38 Unlimited Season Pass!


An unlimited season pass to Hartford Stage’s 2012/13 season. If you are
18–27 years old and love theatre, Stage Pass is definitely for you. Purchase a Stage Pass for only $38 – yup, that’s it – and get into every Mainstage production at Hartford Stage for the 2012/13 season. That’s basically what you would spend going to the movies twice, and just think how sophisticated you’ll sound when you tell your friends and family you are “going to the theatre tonight.” Speaking of friends, want to bring a friend when you use your Stage Pass? Go ahead and do it! Purchase up to 3 companion tickets for only $20 each.
 I'd slap a big old Facebook "Like" on that if I were not, well, 51, and therefore ineligible.  FWIW, I love the theater, and I'm not really able to afford Hartford Stage except on special occasion.

Apparently, offering a special to a particular age (and by default, not offering it to those outside of that age) is legal and socially acceptable (of course it is, look at all the senior discounts out there). But imagine if this special offer were limited to people of a certain race ("If you are white and like the theater....") or religion ("If you are non-christian, come on down...."

I get that they want to bring a younger crowd in the door, but jeez, there are ways to do that (how about targeting the offer via youth-heavy conduits such as QR Codes, twitter, handing out physical coupons at particular events) - instead of blatant age targeting (and flipping the coin over, de facto discrimination).

Instead, I'm vaguely resentful that Hartford Stage is not offering me this particular special. 

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