ASU Gammage sells out of season subscriptions in hours


May 17, 2017

Season subscriptions to ASU Gammage’s 2017-2018 Broadway Season sold out less than two hours after they were made available for purchase May 15. Subscriptions were the public’s first opportunity to purchase tickets to Broadway’s hottest new musical about founding father "Hamilton."

In the more than 50 years of ASU Gammage’s operation, the organization has never sold out of subscriptions until this season.  ASU Gammage 2017-2018 Season Subscriptions Sold Out Patrons queue outside the ASU Gammage Box Office May 15, waiting for their chance to purchase a Broadway season subscription. The organization sold out of season subscriptions in less than two hours. Download Full Image

ASU Gammage is directing patrons still interested in purchasing season subscriptions to sign up for the waitlist at asugammage.com/waitlist

“ASU Gammage season tickets are more popular than ever and we had an unprecedented amount of people trying to buy tickets,” said Victor Hamburger, ASU Gammage senior director of marketing and communications. “It felt like half of the Valley was trying to buy season tickets today and our web servers and Ticketmaster’s servers certainly felt that.”

Due to the high demand for season subscriptions, some patrons queued outside the ASU Gammage Box Office hours before the tickets were scheduled to go on-sale. Most opted to purchase their tickets online. 

“We certainly understand that some patrons may feel disappointed that they didn’t get to buy season tickets and we certainly had a deluge of traffic on asugammage.com and on our Ticketmaster season ticket portal,” Hamburger said. “The large majority of season ticket packages were sold online and even though we did have many customers experience delays trying to purchase season tickets, it was still the best way to buy season tickets.” 

Due to the high volume of users online, ASU Gammage deactivated the interactive seating map feature to help speed up users’ processing time. 

“We were able to get a lot of people tickets and when a major event like season tickets for ASU Gammage go on sale, some slowdowns and delays are to be expected and most patrons, though frustrated, understood,” Hamburger said. “We’ve been warning everyone to expect that season ticket packages could sell out and with so much demand we did in less than two hours.”

"Hamilton" will run Jan. 30, 2018 through Feb. 25, 2018 at ASU Gammage. The official on-sale date for single tickets to "Hamilton" has not yet been announced.  

The ASU Gammage 2017-2018 Broadway Season also includes "Fun Home," "Something Rotten!" "The Bodyguard," "The Kiing and I," "The Color Purple," "The Humans," and "School of Rock," with "Cinderella" and "Les Miserables" as season options. Single tickets to these shows will go on sale Sept. 11. 

For more information, visit asugammage.com.

Marketing and Communications Assistant, ASU Gammage

480-965-3462

ASU's Arntzen on Ebola outbreak: Promising drugs lead the charge on a devastating disease


May 17, 2017

A new Ebola outbreak in remote areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has some public health officials on guard for larger outbreaks to come, but Arizona State University’s Charles Arntzen, who played a crucial role in development of the Ebola therapeutic drug called ZMapp, says the current outbreak is small and there are a number of fledgling drugs that can be used to fight it and vaccinate the people in surrounding areas.

Here he talks more about the situation surrounding the current outbreak.  Arntzen The Biodesign Institute's Charles Arntzen, who played a crucial role in development of the Ebola therapeutic drug called ZMapp, says there are a number of fledgling drugs that can be used to fight the current outbreak of Ebola and to vaccinate the people in surrounding areas. Photo by Michelle Saldana/Biodesign Institute Download Full Image

Question: What do you know about the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

Answer: The strain in the outbreak is the Zaire strain. ZMapp was developed to fight the Zaire strain, so ZMapp is very likely to be effective in fighting the Ebola strain in the DRC. The second thing is that there is a supply of ZMapp. Beginning in August 2016, DARPA put a significant amount of money into Mapp Pharmaceuticals and its companion company, LeafBio. They are jointly producing a stockpile of the therapeutic drug. To my knowledge, they have not yet been requested for their supply, but it is very likely to be enough to handle the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Q: Are therapeutics like ZMapp developed to the point where they can be successful in fighting the disease?

A: Certainly on the technical side and the delivery system used. What was not known at the time of the last outbreak and when the clinical trials were conducted is how do you figure out the appropriate dosage. Studies on non-human primates were done with a single dose of therapeutic and it was a high dose. This was followed in the treatments in 2014. If this were done in an advanced fully equipped hospital, there would be a blood draw to determine the load of circulating virus in the blood stream and then determine optimal dosage and then treatment would be provided.

Q: What about vaccines?

A: The most advanced one seems to be from Merck. It uses a viral delivery system in a very well established viral vector. What they have shown from early studies is the correlates of protection are strongly correlated with antibody titer that the vaccine induces. That fits very nicely because ZMapp is an antibody cocktail. The fact that it is protective would suggest that if you can use a vaccine to get a good antibody boost in uninfected people, and then you could use an antibody based therapeutic (like ZMapp) for people with the disease. 

Q: Are we ready for another Ebola outbreak?

A: We are sure a lot better off than we were in 2014. Much, much better. The technical response to a major infective disease outbreak that has happened in the last 2.5 to 3 years has been incredible. I think the real gain is from all of the money that was invested early on — our work dates back to 2002 — and it take a long time to build up the core competency that is necessary in drug development. This has happened both for vaccines and therapeutics in academia and in industry. Give credit to funding agencies like DARPA and NIH for giving us the tools that we need.

Q: What do we need scientifically to make our response better?

A: There are a number of unknowns out there. There are questions of persistence of Ebola in individuals who have recovered from infection. Does the disease persist? Does it mutate? Also, we don’t know enough about the comparative protection of our vaccine candidates and therapeutics against other strains of Ebola, like the Sudan strain. The testing is on going, but it is an orphan disease and certainly doesn’t get the funding it would if it were a more major disease of the developed world.

Associate Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications

480-965-4823