Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies


Multi-Disciplinary Program

First Advisor

Scott Shattuck M.F.A.

Second Advisor

Anne Smith Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Cindy Davis Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Casey Hart Ph.D.


This paper aims to guide entrepreneurial theatre artists in beginning a nonprofit theatre arts venture. It will provide an in-depth analysis of the foundations required to begin a nonprofit theatre organization and analyze the need for expanding upon traditional structures and styles. Incorporating evidence and research from relevant literature, coursework, and market data as well as analysis of a strategic plan for The Common Theatre Company, this paper finds that non-profit theatre companies can be positively served by developing unique products and services and a nontraditional governance model as an extension of the foundational needs of a nonprofit organization. The traditional theatre venture generally includes a mission revolving around production content, follows a basic season, exclusively offers plays or musicals in its programming, and is governed by a top-down Board of Directors structure. The Common Theatre Company represents a new approach to this typical model offering diverse programming, a unique community partnership angle, and a collaborative governance structure. In a market geared toward non-arts industries that finds audiences across sectors overstimulated and oversaturated, small nonprofit theatres need more resources geared toward them. This paper is meant to serve as a blueprint for the emerging theatre company and a guide to finding unique ways to stand out in any market.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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