Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - April 20, 2000
Media Contact
Reference: 99/00: 76

Shannon Center Tickets Now Available Online

Patrons of the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College have a new option when it comes to buying tickets--going online. Tickets to selected events are available at SeatAdvisor.com, a Web site that lets patrons see exactly where their tickets will take them inside the theater, said David Palmer, theater manager and production coordinator at the Shannon Center.

Available tickets will appear on an interactive seating map of the Shannon Center. The seating map also includes such information as a photo to the stage from the seat, distance to the stage, viewing angle, seat comfort, obstructions (if any) and ticket pricing. Using this service, ticket buyers can choose their exact seat for each event, review the seating quality and purchase tickets in a matter of seconds.

"We are thrilled to offer this state-of-the-art Internet technology to create an easy and effective way for our patrons to purchase choice tickets and enjoy what we have to offer," Palmer said. "We had considered other online options, but the other systems were just too complicated, and it was too hard to retrieve or "unallocate" tickets that did not sell online."

Palmer noted that not all tickets are for sale online. Rather, a block of tickets to selected events is given to SeatAdvisor.com to sell, and those tickets are placed "on hold" at the Shannon Center. When those tickets sell, the company notifies Palmer via e-mail and the physical tickets are mailed to the patron. "I don't have to monitor the Web site. They take care of everything--and if I need to take a ticket offline, I can do it immediately. I have almost 100 percent control without any of the hassles," he said.

The Shannon Center includes the 403-seat Robinson Theatre and the 72-seat studio theatre known as the "black box." Henry Mancini and his orchestra played for the grand-opening gala in 1990 and other artists who have appeared on the main stage include novelists Alice Walker and Amy Tan, Hawaiian artists Hapa and the Brothers Cazimero, jazz greats Bennie Maupin and Poncho Sanchez, as well as classical musicians from around the world. Later this month, "Cousins," the eighth play in award-winning author Horton Foote's Orphan's Home Cycle, will be presented in a staged reading. In June, the Lost World, the center's resident professional theatre company, will present the Equity world premiere production of another Foote play, "The Day Emily Married." The Shannon Center is also home to productions and concerts by the college's drama and music departments, all open to the public.

SeatAdvisor.com charges the Shannon Center a 5 percent fee to sell the tickets, but Palmer said this has proved to be less expensive than offering standard discounts. "In the first few months of operation, we have sold about $1,000 worth of tickets to our Hawaiian series, mostly to people on the Westside of Los Angeles County," he said. "Although the patron also pays a small fee to be able get the tickets on line, the convenience factor is apparently making it worth their while."

Prior to working with sites such as the Shannon Center, SeatAdvisor.com sends a team of auditors to get detailed descriptions of the seat quality. Photographic views to the stage are available from each area where the view significantly changes and from seats that may have view obstructions. "The Internet is the perfect way for people to get information about their seats visually displayed on interactive seating maps," said Brent Miller, president and CEO of SeatAdvisor.com, which is based in San Diego. "Consumers in the U.S. spend billions of dollars each year to attend entertainment events. Our goal is to help consumers determine exactly what they're buying before they arrive at the event."

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

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