I come not to bury American Players Theatre's online ticketing system, but dang, I wish I had that hour and 38 minutes back.
At 7 this morning, the Spring Green theater company, which built its first-class reputation on its Shakespeare productions, began selling tickets to the nine plays it will present this summer. Good seats go fast, especially given the discount that's available through April 13. So as a series of promotional APT emails and letters suggested I do, I went to the company's website at 7, glad to be getting this bit of summer planning out of the way.
It was clear that demand was high. Pages were slow to load and sometimes didn't load at all. Eventually I found myself staring at an hourglass that emptied and turned, emptied and turned, for a very long time. For more than an hour.
I read APT's Twitter update: "Hi everyone, The high volume of people using the online ticketing system appears to be slowing things down." I read APT's Facebook post: "Please bear with us, it's literally the busiest hour of the year."
Patrons, unhappy and happy, left Facebook comments. "It just took 70 minutes to buy 2 tickets each to 3 plays. That is just plain unreasonable, and this is the last year I am going to get up to do this." "I love APT but this is crazy." "Tickets purchased; all is well."
Eventually I got up from the computer where the hourglass was emptying and turning, and I tried using another computer to access the site. I got in right away, and I ordered my tickets. I wish I'd tried this earlier, because the good seats were indeed gone.
So I got OK seats. No big deal. I was late for work. Also no big deal. I'm looking forward to the plays. And -- did you know this saying is from Macbeth? -- what's done is done.