The Living Ticket

I’m looking for a Living Ticket for Metra: A Climate Revolution Play with Songs.

I’m looking for a Living Ticket for Our Options Have Changed.

No financial transaction is required to attend Metra: A Climate Revolution Play with Songs. Instead, you’re invited to reserve a “Living Ticket” and then make a donation, informed by Flux’s commitment to reaching a living wage for all artists and staff.

In a hurry? Reserve your Living Ticket and give at the rate that works for you. One way several audience members have chosen to think about their gift is the equivalent value of two hours of their own time.

You can make a contribution here

We’re proud to say that Metra represents the first Flux production where all our contributors are making an hourly minimum wage (or equivalent fee). This was a longtime goal for Flux, and we’re grateful to every foundation and individual donor who made it possible. 

Yet we know a minimum wage is not enough. As part of our Core Value of Collective Care, Flux is committed to ensuring all of our collaborators’ financial needs are met, and that means working toward a living wage. Our Living Ticket program will reach that goal through a lens of economic justice, where money is no barrier to entry for any Flux production.

We are currently in the process of evolving our Open Book program. For Metra, we’re sharing the percentages of our expenses, so you can see that the majority of our resources are going toward supporting our people. You can find that percentage-based budget here.


THE SHORT VERSION: In a hurry? Check out our production budget for Our Options  and then reserve your Living Ticket and give at the rate that makes sense for you.

  • $3 average donation covers our costs and helps ensure we can keep the project live
  • $6 helps us fully compensate the lead artists who have stewarded this project over the past 2 years
  • $9+ is an investment in future hybrid work from Flux!

You can make a contribution here. Thank you!
At a more leisurely moment, read more about the Living Ticket program below, and the Open Book program here.


Living Ticket

(From the 2013 Flux Annual Retreat at Little Pond, photo by Isaiah Tanenbaum. We love this image of Creative Partner Will Lowry turning back to invite someone along wherever it is we’re all headed together. That feels like the spirit of the Living Ticket.)

What is a Living Ticket? Beginning with our production of Salvage in April 2015, no financial transaction is required to attend a Flux performance. You can reserve your Living Ticket online, or obtain it in-person at the show (space permitting).  Money is no longer a barrier to entry for any Flux production!

So all Flux shows are free? Yes, and not exactly. We don’t use the word free, because it costs us quite a bit to create these productions: in material costs, in rentals, and above all, in the work of the people making this show for you. It isn’t free, but it doesn’t cost you anything to attend—it’s a Living Ticket, so if you want the work Flux does to live, we encourage you to support Flux however you can.

So is this just Pay What You Can? Yes, and not exactly. We don’t use the word pay because we want the Living Ticket to be an ongoing relationship of mutual support, not a one-time transaction, and we define mutual support more broadly than just show me the money.

Now, one way to support Flux is by making a financial gift at the time of your reservation or at the theatre. We’ll provide a detailed budget for you in both places—one that shows how much we pay our artists now, and how much support we’d need to pay a living wage. As part of our Open Book program, Flux’s budgets are completely transparent and detailed so that you can trust your money is being responsibly spent.

That’s another thing about Flux: because we’re an ensemble, we pay all of our artists equally and prioritize paying people over other costs. That’s another meaning to Living Ticket: your support will empower Flux to pay living and equitable wages to our creative team.

But what if I can’t give financially? First, by showing up and participating in our productions, you’re already giving the most precious thing any of us have: time. Thank you. If you’re inspired to give more, and money isn’t an option right now, we encourage you to give in other ways: by inviting more people to come see the show (you’re our marketing budget), by volunteering at tech or the box office, by participating in our various play and community development programs (artists and non-artists are equally welcome). We value the gift of time as deeply as financial support—click here for more ways to give.

So is the goal of the Living Ticket to pay artists more, or to remove the financial barrier to attendance? Yes and yes and much more than that. The goals of the Living Ticket program are:

  • To remove all financial barriers to attendance at Flux shows;
  • To ensure our collaborative community is truly representative of the city we love;
  • To sustain long-term relationships with our community through ticketing and donor systems based on transparency and mutual support;
  • To provoke an honest, transparent conversation about compensation, living wages and theatre people beyond the false binaries of producer vs artist;
  • To work in solidarity with other movements advocating for cultural accessibility and ethical compensation;
  • To assert that the not-for-profit movement exists to create alternative models of communal value, and not merely mimic for-profit structures;
  • To make Flux’s Living Ticket feel just as magical as any Golden Ticket to a Chocolate Factory!

Ooh, I’m in, I’m in! What are the next steps?

THE SHORT VERSION: In a hurry? Check out our Current, Minimum, and Living wage budget and giving levels, and then reserve your Living Ticket! Thank you for your interest in Flux’s Open Source Theatre approach, and our Living Ticket.

How did this all come about? We’re so glad you stuck around to ask that question. First, we want to acknowledge that the Living Ticket is in conversation with the generations of theatre-makers who have tried similar approaches, from the food-for-plays genesis of the Barter Theatre to Joe Papp’s vision of Shakespeare for everyone to Mixed Blood’s Radical Hospitality program. Second, we want to acknowledge that the name “Living Ticket” came from the amazing Stephanie Willing, who coined it as part of a Friends of Flux brainstorming session at one of our SpeakEasys. Third, the impetus for this grew out of our 2014 Annual Retreat, where we felt we had to align our marketing and ticketing strategies with our Core Values–and that if we did, it might not only be transformative for Flux, but could serve as a useful model for others.