Students Wait in Line for Hours to Acquire Grasshopper Night Tickets

The reinstated waiting-line system for distributing Grasshopper Night tickets has yielded both approval and disappointment. Seniors were allowed to acquire tickets on Sunday two hours earlier than the rest of the school, so that they would not miss the last Grasshopper of their Andover career. Gael Phillips-Spence, Administrative Assistant for the Theater Department, said that she has received phone calls from the parents of some Juniors, Lowers and Uppers, asking why their children did not receive tickets for this weekend’s Grasshopper performances. “I told them that when [their kids] are Seniors they will have priority over the other students. They’ll get to see [Grasshopper Night] at least once,” said Phillips-Spence. This year, students once more had to wait in line on a first-come, first-serve basis to obtain their tickets for one of the four Grasshopper performances. The Theater Department distributed tickets on Sunday and Monday, which allowed more students to receive tickets, said Phillips-Spence. Three hundred tickets were available for each performance. Each student was allowed a maximum of three tickets. Phillips-Spence said that the Theater Department, when choosing times for ticket distribution, tried to find days that would not conflict with the schedules of musicians, athletes and day students. Even with early priority, many Seniors had to wait for tickets hours in advance. Adam Tohn ’10 said, “It might have been an unfair advantage for Seniors, but I started waiting at 10 a.m. to get tickets at 2 p.m. Even Seniors had a tremendous wait.” Tohn said that Junior, Lower and Upper students have the chance to see the show again, while this is the last chance for Seniors to watch Grasshopper Night. Audrey Adu-Appiah ’10 said that she believed this year’s system is an improvement from last year’s lottery ticket system because the lottery did not give students as much control over whether or not they received tickets. Adu-Appiah said, “Last year, I woke up at 6 a.m. and went on the online lottery system, but because so many people were trying to do the exact same thing at the exact same time, the server crashed and I couldn’t get my request in until half-an-hour later.” “Especially being a Senior, I really preferred [this system]. If you really, really want the tickets you can get them instead of with the online system, where it was the luck of the draw, no matter how much effort you put into it,” she continued. Some underclassmen students, however, said that they preferred the old system to the new. Julianna Meagher ’11 waited in line for 45 minutes on Sunday, before the box office ran out of tickets. Meagher said, “I definitely preferred last year’s system. I know a lot of the kids who were really dedicated to getting tickets [and] felt it necessary to cut their sport, which I would think that the school might be unhappy to be encouraging.” Will Adams ’11 waited three hours in the ticket line on Sunday but could not obtain any tickets. He eventually did acquire tickets by going to the Monday ticket release two and a half hours in advance. “I was worried when I got there [on Sunday] because the line was pretty long,” said Adams. “But I decided to wait it out. Then I started to notice how a couple of people were coming and just waiting with their friends who were already in the line.” Adams continued, “I was a little frustrated because I felt that I could’ve gotten tickets [on Sunday] had people not cut in line.” Catherine Choi ’13, said, “I had heard Grasshopper Night was popular, but I was really surprised by the length of the line.” “I arrived half-an-hour early, but I could not get tickets. It was the last day that they were giving them out,” Choi said. The face-to-face ticket distribution system was last used in 2006. Phillips-Spence said that in 2006, tickets were distributed on Saturday and on the following Wednesday. Phillips-Spence said the Theater Department will probably choose to use the face-to-face distribution system in the future, “but are always willing [to] adjust it and take suggestions.”