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What Is Theater


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Trying to describe theatre to MBA students

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What Is Theater

  1. 1. What is Theater?<br />Devon Smith, Meghan Pressman & Michael Barker<br />
  2. 2. Managers in the Theatre (or what the heck is a theatre manager?)<br />Stage Manager<br />Box Office/House Manager<br />Technical/Production Manager<br />Marketing Manager/Director<br />Development Manager/Director<br />Business Manager<br />Theater Managers<br />General Manager<br />Executive/Managing Director<br />Producing Director<br />Believe it or not, but all of these jobs are different.<br />
  3. 3. Here’s where we talk about ourselves a little<br />General Managers<br />Day to day operations (budgets, contracts, HR, etc)<br />Internal management<br />Managing Directors<br />Business leader of the organization (CEO!)<br />Internal and external management<br />Interaction with boards and donors<br />Producing Directors<br />Often work without an artistic leader<br />Art and business decisions<br />
  4. 4. All Broadway theatres are on Broadway…right?<br />40 theatres, each with 500-2,000 seats, located between 40th & 54th Streets and 6th & 9th Avenues<br />
  5. 5. Broadway Economics<br />
  6. 6. Fun with Charts and Graphs<br />
  7. 7. How a Broadway Play is made<br />Case: In the Heights<br />
  8. 8. An independent producer (Kevin McCollum) finds a: <br /><ul><li> property to develop
  9. 9. play to produce (In the Heights)
  10. 10. production to transfer</li></ul> <br />Producer ensures that production is ready for Broadway<br />2000: In the Heights is written<br />2004: Jill Furman sees a reading ITH in the basement of the Drama Bookshop, brings it to the attention of Kevin McCollum & Jeffrey Sellers at The Producing Office<br />2005: ITH is workshopped at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre<br />2007: ITH begins off-Broadway run at 37 Arts Theatre<br />2008: ITH opens on Broadway<br />
  11. 11. Where the $$ Comes From<br />Producer finds investors ($2-$20M)<br /><ul><li>Sander Jacobs (businessman)
  12. 12. Robyn Goodman/Walt Grossman (theatre producer)
  13. 13. Peter Fine (real estate developer)
  14. 14. Sonny Everett & Mike Skipper (insurance salesman)
  15. 15. Ruth Hendel(wife of investment banker)
  16. 16. Harold Newman (oilman, grew up in WaHeights)</li></ul> <br />Producer hires:<br /><ul><li>General Manager to run the business
  17. 17. Casting Agent to find actors, musicians
  18. 18. Director, Choreographer, Conductor
  19. 19. Designers (scenic, costume, sound, lights, video, props)
  20. 20. Press Agent to manage publicity
  21. 21. Advertising Agent to manage marketing and advertising</li></li></ul><li>Producer contacts theatre owner (Nederlander) to arrange a long-term lease. Theatre owner takes a flat fee per week or a percentage of the gross. May opt to invest as a co-producer. <br />Theatre owner hires:<br /><ul><li>Stage hands (to build set, hang lights & sound & video, run show backstage)
  22. 22. House Manager and ushers</li></li></ul><li>HAPPY OPENING!<br /><ul><li>Run is open ended (94 weeks so far)
  23. 23. Cast recording is produced and released (debuts #1, wins a Grammy)
  24. 24. Nominated for 13 Tony awards
  25. 25. Universal Pictures acquires motion picture rights
  26. 26. Original cast begins to leave production
  27. 27. National tour announced for 12 US cities</li></ul> <br />Quick Math<br /><ul><li>$10 M capitalization
  28. 28. $500K weekly running costs
  29. 29. 94 weeks running
  30. 30. $70 M total grosses
  31. 31. Operating Profit = $13M and counting</li></li></ul><li>Issues in the field<br /><ul><li>Unions (STRIKE!)
  32. 32. Rising production costs (aka: how the film industry mentality is killing Broadway)
  33. 33. Premium ticket prices ($300!)
  34. 34. Lack of investment capital (economic recession what?)
  35. 35. Non profits on Broadway </li></ul>(no fair!)<br /><ul><li>Film stars on stage (or how to get street cred)</li></li></ul><li>The future of Broadway<br />Increased consolidation<br />Fewer original properties<br />Decline of unions<br />
  36. 36. Random Facts<br /><ul><li>Longest running show: The Phantom of the Opera premiered January 3, 1988. It has grossed $750 million and sold 13.5 M tickets.
  37. 37. Highest returns: Producers of Wicked invested $14 million in 2003, the production has grossed $1.5 billion worldwide.
  38. 38. Most $$ production: Spider-Man, Turn off the Dark $52 million</li></li></ul><li>Those lovable unions!<br />
  39. 39. Definition of Regional Theatre<br /><ul><li> Almost 500 members of Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
  40. 40. 76 members of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT)
  41. 41. At least a few hundred others
  42. 42. Generally not New York City (although there are exceptions)</li></li></ul><li>Some Context<br />Little Theatre Movement – 1920s & 30s<br />Ford Foundation as Johnny Appleseed<br />Regional Theatre was about what it’s not<br /><ul><li> Not New York
  43. 43. Not Commercial
  44. 44. Not Presenting</li></ul>Regional Theatre has come to mean<br /><ul><li> Based in the community
  45. 45. Nonprofit
  46. 46. (Mostly) Producing
  47. 47. Mission-based
  48. 48. Broadway feeder team?
  49. 49. A LOT OF THINGS</li></li></ul><li>Regional Theatre economics<br />nonprofit theatre is big business! (well, business anyway)<br />
  50. 50. Case Study: Goodman Theatre<br />Chicago, IL<br />
  51. 51. The Skinny<br />Founded in 1925 as a division of the Art Institute of Chicago<br />Moved to the Loop location in 2000<br />Stable executive leadership in Roche Shulfer and Bob Falls<br />Artistic Collective comprised of 6 directors<br />Expenses of $19mm; Assets of $80mm<br />Albert theater (856 seats); Owen theater (374-468 seats)<br />Eleven productions per year<br />
  52. 52. By the numbers<br />The mix...<br />The magic...<br />
  53. 53. Mission<br />Goodman Theatre, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit theater, has won international renown for the quality of productions, the depth and diversity of artistic leadership, and the excellence of its many community and educational programs. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the Goodman is committed to producing both classic and contemporary works, giving full voice to a wide range of artists and visions. Central to that mission is the Goodman Artistic Collective, a diverse group of outstanding theater artists whose distinctive visions have given the Goodman an artistic identity of uncommon richness and variety. By dedicating itself to three guiding principles—quality, diversity, and community—Goodman Theatre seeks to be the premier cultural organization in Chicago, providing productions and programs that make an essential contribution to the quality of life in our city.<br />
  54. 54. The Art<br />
  55. 55. The future of regional theatre<br />Decline of Unions<br />Dwindling (?) subscriber base<br />Aging (?) audiences<br />Consolidation & Expansion<br />Boise ain’t Chicago!<br />Commercial cooperation (enhancement)<br />
  56. 56. Performing Arts Presenters<br /><ul><li>Primarilypresent other people’s work such as:
  57. 57. Broadway tours (musicals and plays)
  58. 58. Dance
  59. 59. Family shows
  60. 60. Cabaret and one man shows
  61. 61. Music
  62. 62. Association of Performing Art Presenters
  63. 63.  1900+ members, 60% of members are presenters
  64. 64. Performing Art Centers
  65. 65. Community Theatres
  66. 66. Regional Theatres
  67. 67. Universities</li></li></ul><li>
  68. 68. Case Study: <br />Orange County Performing Arts Center<br />Orange County, CA<br />
  69. 69. Organizational Structure<br />Orange County Performing Arts Center<br />1 concert hall (seats 1,704), includes pipe organ<br />1 theater (flexible seating from 300-600)<br />1 opera style house with 3 tiers (seats 2,994)<br />1 performance hall (seats 230-270)<br />1 outdoor plaza (seats 500-2000)<br />Also a café and an education center<br />Resident companies:<br />Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Pacific Chorale<br />
  70. 70. The Numbers<br />Orange County Performing Arts Center<br />Fixed assets worth 340 million <br />Investments of 183 million (incl 35mm endowment)<br />(FY 2009 showed a overall 5.6mm loss in investments)<br />
  71. 71. The Season<br />OCPAC 2009-2010 Season<br /> 113 different events spanning 365 performances days<br />
  72. 72. Where the work comes from<br />Scouted by the presenting organization at another venue, a conference, grapevine<br />Submitted by creator of the piece<br />Packaged by an outside party<br />Created by an “in house” partner organization<br />Created by the presenting organization<br />
  73. 73. Back to Bway: Touring Economics<br />2008-2009 Season<br />Approximately 100 shows in over 250 cities<br />$883 million<br />14+ million tickets<br />Cumulative economic impact spending:<br />$3.25 billion on metropolitan areas across the United States during the 2004–2005 season<br />(an average of 3x the gross ticket sales)<br />
  74. 74. Who attends?<br />2008-2009 Season<br />Women represent 70% of audience and 73% of buyers<br />Average theatergoer attends 6 shows per year<br />Average theatergoer age was 50 years old<br />Vast majority of theatergoers were Caucasian<br />73% held a college degree and <br />41% held a graduate degree<br />43% of national theatergoers reported an annual household income of more than $112,300 <br />
  75. 75. Future Present(ers)<br />Audience Demographics<br />Aging Audience<br />“My audiences have gone up significantly, my income has gone down.”<br />Decline of Effectiveness of Traditional Media<br />The negative effects of “mission light” presenting houses<br />Substitutes<br />Increased Presenting Costs = Higher Prices and Higher Risk<br />Significant Decline Among Traditional Presentation Genres Like Classical Music <br />Increased Competition to Buy as Well as to Sell<br />
  76. 76. But wait, there’s more!<br />small theatres<br />community theatre<br />culturally specific<br />multi-disciplinary<br />international<br />
  77. 77. Questions?<br />