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The Business of Theatre

Recorded On: 09/28/2020

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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), offers this three part course combining video testimonials and tips from the field with real life scenarios from educators, artistic directors, Broadway producers and more.  

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The Business of Theatre: Managing a Busy Theatre Program
Running a Theatre Program for Klutzes by David Tate Hastings, EdTA Board Member, Olathe South HS Theatre, Kansas
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. 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.
Crucial to Success
Open to view video.
Open to view video. In this short video, theatre professionals from leading regional and professional theatres in the vibrant theatre community of St. Louis, MO, share their opinions of the most important things to remember when managing a theatre program. Julia Flood - Artistic Director - Metro Theatre Company Kwofe Coleman - Managing Director - The Muny
Leading the Team; Managing a Theatre Program by Using Skills from Small Business by Kristi Fuller, Educator, Indian River HS, NY
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. 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.
The Value of Partners
Open to view video.
Open to view video. High School and Middle Grades Theatre Educator Holly Potthoff shares advice gleaned from her long and hugely successful career as a theatre educator. Holly Potthoff - Maplewood Richmond High School
Building a Booster Group by John Rutherford, Educator, Wylie Groves HS, Michigan
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Theatre educator John Rutherford offers this written version of his popular workshop on how to build a booster group to support your program.
Don't be Afraid of the Business Side
Open to view video.
Open to view video. The artistic director of a regional theatre shares thoughts about managing your budget. Eddie Coffield, Artistic Director and Producer - New Jewish Theatre
Budgeting for Your Show and Your Season by Kimberly Wibbenmeyer, Educator, Sullivan HS, Missouri
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. 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.
Putting the Fun in Fundraising
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Eddie Cofield, Artistic Director and Producer - The New Jewish Theatre and St. Louis Theatre Educator Jennifer Forrest-James share their thoughts and ideas about fundraising for a school theatre production or season.
Fundraising by Krista Carson Elhai, Educator, Claremont, California
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Krista Carson Elhai, theatre educator from California and consummate fund raiser, shares a wealth of tips and techniques for successful fundraising to support your program.
Summing it All Up
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Jennifer Forrest-James, Parkway South High School, sums up program management with some practical advice for the busy theatre educator.
SECTION QUIZ: Managing a Busy Theatre Program
19 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  70/90 points to pass
19 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  70/90 points to pass These questions are based on the articles and videos in the Managing A Busy Theatre Program section of the Business of Theatre course.
Certificate of Completion: Managing Your Program
1.00 Contact Hours contact hour  |  Certificate available
1.00 Contact Hours contact hour  |  Certificate available Please follow the instructions to download your certificate of completion from EdTA- proof of your investment in professional learning. Check with your administrator, in some school districts professional learning opportunities from your professional organization may be used towards meeting continuing education requirements.
The Business of Theatre: Producing a Season
Doing the “Rights” Thing by Ralph Sevush, Executive Director of Business Affairs and General Counsel for the Dramatists Guild of America
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Ralph Sevush, Executive Director of Business Affairs and General Counsel for the Dramatists Guild of America discusses your responsibilities and the law when it comes to theatrical licensing questions; including the all important "Can I change the words?"
Producing a Season
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Eddie Cofield, Artistic Director and Producer, New Jewish Theatre, talks about his experiences as a producer and artistic director.
What does a Producer Do and Why do You Need One? by Meredith Lucio, Producer, Aaron Grant Theatrical, NYC
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. New York producer Meredith Lucio describes the role of a producer, points out the ways in which theatre educators are already filling this role, and why this role is so vital to successful theatre productions.
Choosing Your Shows
Open to view video.
Open to view video. A diverse group of theatre directors and producers from community, regional, professional and school settings both large and small, share the ways in which they choose materials for performance. Issues touched on include allowing student voice, being mindful of diversity and changing times and the consideration of balance across your season. Jennifer Forrest-James - Parkway South High School Adam Flores - St. Louis Shakespeare Festival Gary F. Bell - Stray Dog Theatre Kwofe Coleman - MUNY Theatre Julia Flood - Metro Theatre Company Barbara Mulligan - Theatre Guild of Webster Groves
Contracts and Licensing by Jim Hoare, Theatrical Rights Worldwide
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Jim Hoare, Executive Vice President of Theatrical Rights Worldwide shares expert advice on managing contracts and licensing issues.
Engaging Your Community
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Adam Flores, Community Engagement and Education Manager, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival talks about the importance of engaging with your community and building audience recognition.
Developing Audiences by Chris Bundy, Founding Artistic Director, TheatreWorks of Southern Indiana
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Chris Bundy, retired theatre educator and Founding Artistic Director of TheatreWorks of Southern Indiana, shares ways to develop audiences to sustain your program.
What Really Matters
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Allie Magee, Marketing and Communications Manager of the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and Kelley Weber, Clayton High School, focus on the heart of producing theatre- making theatre relevant and welcoming diverse student populations.
SECTION QUIZ: Producing a Season
17 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  48/60 points to pass
17 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  48/60 points to pass These questions are based on the articles and videos in the Producing a Season section of the Business of Theatre course.
Certificate of Completion: Producing A Season
1.00 Contact Hours contact hour  |  Certificate available
1.00 Contact Hours contact hour  |  Certificate available Please follow the instructions to download your certificate of completion from EdTA- proof of your investment in professional learning. Check with your administrator, in some school districts professional learning opportunities from your professional organization may be used towards meeting continuing education requirements.
The Business of Theatre: Marketing
Why Marketing?
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Sarah Thompson, Public Relations & Marketing Specialist offers a compelling argument for marketing your shows and your program.
Marketing your Show by Andrew Kuhlman, Associate Producer, Stages, St. Louis
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Andrew Kuhlman, STAGES, St. Louis producer, shares strategies and techniques for marketing your show.
Marketing Strategies, Tips and Ideas
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Holly Potthoff, Maplewood Richmond Heights High School and Allie McGee, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, and Sarah Thompson, PR & Marketing Specialist, share their best tips and marketing ideas.
Marketing your Program by Courtney Kochuba, Director of Marketing, Concord Theatricals
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Courtney Kochuba, Director of Marketing for Concord Theatricals, describes the importance of thinking of your productions as a season, and your program as a theatre company to identify a mission, an identity and a brand to help your program grow and thrive.
The Importance of Branding
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Sarah Thompson, Marketing and Media Specialist talks about the importance of branding.
Leveraging the EdTA Brand by Sandra Lundgren, EdTA Content Director
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. EdTA's Content Director Sandra Lundgren, authored this article on using the International Thespian and Educational Theatre Association's brand recognition for instant recognition of the quality of your program.
Marketing on a Budget
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Sarah Thompson, St. Louis marketing and public relations professional, offers ideas for theatre educators and small theatre companies who will need to do marketing on a budget.
SECTION QUIZ: Marketing
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  55/68 points to pass
12 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  55/68 points to pass
Certificate of Completion: Marketing
1.00 Contact Hours contact hour  |  Certificate available
1.00 Contact Hours contact hour  |  Certificate available Please follow the instructions to download your certificate of completion from EdTA- proof of your investment in professional learning. Check with your administrator, in some school districts professional learning opportunities from your professional organization may be used towards meeting continuing education requirements.
Theatre Education & DEI
Race, Equity and Inclusion in Theatre Education
Open to view video.
Open to view video. "You are an artist. You speak for those who are afraid to speak. You investigate the human condition. You are a light. You are seen." Professor Rufus Bonds Jr. shares a powerful message about the importance of the teacher and issues of race, equity and inclusion through the lens of current events in the Fall of 2019.