An Opera for Three Pennies? Welcome to the Threepenny Opera!

When it comes to opening the theatre up to new audiences, price is a big barrier. Not everyone can bear to pay upwards of $120 for one night’s entertainment. But TodayTix and the Atlantic Theater Company have come up with a powerful gimmick to hurdle this barrier.


Atlantic Theater Company is about to open a new production of The Threepenny Opera off-Broadway. Often called the ‘opera for beggars’, charging ridiculously high admission prices would go against the spirit of the work. So Atlantic Theater Company and TodayTix has come up with a great gimmick to make sure that this theatrical work is affordable for everyone!

Teaming up with last-minute ticketing vendor app, TodayTix, The Threepenny Opera will be running an online lottery for two seats at every performance. But where’s the gimmick? Almost every show runs a lottery program offering last minute tickets for roughly $30.

Well, not only is this lottery online. True to the name, this lottery is giving lottery winners the opportunity to see The Threepenny Opera for the price specified in the title . . . $0.03

Why is this such a great gimmick? Two reasons.

Firstly, there is an element of continuity with the aims of both these organisations which makes them prime candidates for a brand partnership (check out yesterday’s article). Both organisations pride themselves in innovation and opening the theatre medium up to a wider range of audiences. Atlantic Theater Company achieves this through their programming decisions and TodayTix achieves this through securing cheap deals for consumers.

And then this continuity is consistent with the gimmick. By charging three cents for two tickets at each performance, this ‘opera for beggars’ can actually now be seen by beggars. Well . . . beggars that have a smartphone to enter the competition (i.e. poor students).

Secondly, it is catchy. A gimmick can be good, but it will only be effective if it is memorable. And this gimmick is certainly memorable. By actually taking the title literally and opening up two seats for three pennies the gimmick contains some relevance to any potential entrants and will be brought back to the front of the mind whenever they hear the title. The Threepenny Opera is actually a three penny opera.

How clever!