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​How can thinking of your educational theatre program as a small business help students?

Theatre educators frequently are asked to take on the direct fiscal and managerial responsibility for their theatre production program; with the larger programs operating on budgets upwards of six figures. Tapping into effective practices of small business leaders can help to make this job easier while providing resources for training students, attracting, and training volunteers and ensuring sustainability.

Why It Matters

One of the most important, but least addressed topics in K – 12 theatre education is the “business of theatre”—producing, marketing, managing, administration, and associated activities. School theatre programs are often without the expertise of a designated producer or general manager, usually the overall financial and managerial functions for a production, a season or an ongoing program fall to the theatre educator in charge, often with very little support. In response to this need, with the support of a grant from the MackIntosh Foundation, the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), has created a series of mini courses found in the "Courses" section of Theatre Educator Pro, along with a tool kit of guides to help provide needed information for educators who are asked to manage the business of school based theatre.

Business of Theatre Toolkit - Index


Leading the Team; Managing a Theatre Program by Using Skills from Small Business  by Kristi Fuller
Running a Theatre Program for Klutzes by David Tate Hastings
Budgeting for Your Show and Your Season by Kimberly Wibbenmeyer
Building a Booster Group by John Rutherford


What does a Producer Do and Why do You Need One? by Meredith Lucio, Producer, Aaron Grant Theatrical, NYC
Contracts and Licensing by Jim Hoare, Theatrical Rights Worldwide
Doing the “Rights” Thing by Ralph Sevush, Executive Director of Business Affairs and General Counsel for the Dramatists Guild of America
Fundraising by Krista Carson Elhai


Marketing your Show by Andrew Kuhlman, Associate Producer, Stages, St. Louis
Marketing your Program by Courtney Kochuba, Director of Marketing, Concord Theatricals
Leveraging the EdTA Brand by Sandra Lundgren
Developing Audiences by Chris Bundy

A collection of short articles with tips and techniques for producing, marketing and managing educational theatre productions. 

  • The Business of Theatre
    EdTA's Director of Development, Marion Combs, offers this introduction to the Business of Theatre Toolkit, describing the reasons behind it's creation and the ways in which it can help theatre educators.
  • Leading the Team: Running a Theatre Program like a Business Manager
    Kristie Fuller, Indian River High School theatre educator, describes how she utilizes structures and ideas from the business world to run her award winning production program.
  • Running a Theatre Program — a Guide for the Complete Klutz
    David Tate Hastings, theatre educator from Olathe, Kansas and 2020 EdTA Board Member, offers a beginner's guide to running a theatre production program with a combination of part time help and volunteers.
  • Budgeting
    Theatre educator Kimberly Wibbenmeyer shares important tips, techniques and advice for setting up and managing a budget for your show or for an entire program.
  • Building a Booster Group
    Theatre educator John Rutherford offers this written version of his popular workshop on how to build a booster group to support your program.