Thursday, May 07, 2009

To Be (We're Not Dealing With a "Not To Be" Option) - The Birth of a Theatre

The first of the projects we're working on that was conceived was the nonprofit Theatre. I've done theatre in almost all of its dozens of costumes for 20+ years. I've acted, directed, built sets, designed and hung lights, written, produced, and ushered, all with varying degrees of success (as an actor, I'm a great director). On the organizational side, I've been a Managing Director, an Artistic Director, a Box Office Manager, and a Treasurer on a Board of Directors. For everything from tiny community theatres to professional Equity houses. One of the things these experiences all had in common was that I had my own opinion of how they should be done. Ah, the vanities that are me.

I knew I wanted a theatre with a classical bent, as well as one that would function as a teaching venue. And one that would be a "residential" playhouse as well, not as in to reside in, but to house a cast of season-long "regulars". The following is the mission statement excepted from the Theatre's business plan, and gives an overview of what separates us from the unwashed (and washed) masses:

Our mission has four cornerstones: To provide the community with a quality theatre experience, through both new and classical works; To provide the community with a platform for education, about both the art and the craft of theatre; To provide access to the theatre experience to those who might not have it, and to provide the local theatre community with a safe and challenging venue for practicing their craft.

We have provisions for the Board of Directors, as well several innovative (well, we believe them to be innovative, anyways) programs, including classes, internships, and several other, more covert ones.

We are planning on a season of either four or five shows per, depending on how ambitious we finally decide to be: A classical piece (Shakespeare, or other such period piece), a revival of a perennial favorite, redone, a world premiere, with preference given to local writers, and something specifically based on a work of literature. The fifth, if there is one, will be at the Artistic Director's discretion.

The basic structure of the nonprofit organization will be based on both the entertainment/cultural value of the shows and the educational value of the classes and programs. We're currently working on structuring the application to the IRS for our nonprofit 501(c) as well as the nonprofit designation for the state.

Tomorrow: The Bed & Breakfast