Date of Award
Master of Interdisciplinary Studies
Scott Shattuck M.F.A.
Anne Smith Ph.D.
Cindy Davis Ph.D.
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.
McMillan, Kelsey, "Developing the Nonprofit Theatre: Building a Foundation for the Emerging Theatre Company" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 510.
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