Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stage Money Used as a Source for New Yorker Blog about the Future Business Prospects of Spider-man

"To Flip a Flop"--great title for an essay by Elizabeth Weiss for the New Yorker blog about the prospects for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark recouping money now that it's closed on Broadway.  She quotes from Stage Money and Tim Donahue.  She doesn't take the producers' happy talk about the musical's future for granted.  And she shouldn't, given their track record.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Real NFP Production Budget Revealed

American Theatre magazine for November 2013 has an interesting brief piece on the actual budget for a production of August: Osage County at the ZACH Theatre in Austin, Texas.  Note the range of actor salaries, Equity and non-Equity.  Also note the high cost of breaking dishes at every performance!

ZACH Theatre dates from 1933.  Its most recent IRS filing shows an annual budget of about $4.5 million.  With that money, the theater presents more than 500 performances yearly, and involves 30,000 children in education and outreach programs.

Blog Links: Thoughts on Theater Careers

The Seattle paper The Stranger reports on the contradictory pull on theater artists: Stay in Seattle or Try for New York?

Brian Sibley's blog lays out nine reasons a theater degree may be the right choice. Sibley works in PR and communications but his undergraduate study was in theater.  He's right on.  This topic is in sync with our second book, Theater Careers: A Realistic Guide, so this is a shameless way to plug that work.

Blog link: Obscure Federal Law Change May Make Finding Investors for the Theater Easier

Ken Davenport is excited that theater producers may now be able to advertise to attract investors.  The change in Federal law Davenport discusses may seem picayune to us in the theater seats, but more investors and new money always has the prospect of invigorating an area of economic activity.

News Links: NFP Arts and NFP Theater--Out of the Recession Woods?

The evidence for the health of the NFP arts and especially theater is mixed.

The National Arts Index continues on and gets media notice.  It's latest report, which is actually for 2010, shows a mixed picture. As we've noted before, the idea of reducing disparate numbers on differing scales to one score is ridiculous.  Still, the media like things simple.,0,3287693.story#axzz2js6k828c

Meanwhile, an NEA survey shows arts attendance declining.  More about the Survey from the NEA's website is here.

Meanwhile, NFP theaters make tough choices, leaving jobs unfilled or merging to lower costs.

The dinner theater niche--dwindling before the recession--adds two new venues.  Break a leg.

And the estimable Michael Kaiser thinks in writing for HuffPost about the impact of technology on local arts groups with special emphasis on worldwide broadcasting of performances from the Metropolitan Opera, National Theatre of Britain, and others.

News Links: Broadway is Still the Fabulous Invalid

Is Broadway healthy or failing?  As usual, the evidence varies.

Wicked continues strong.

Mamma Mia! moves and passes a milestone.

The Lion King passes the $1 billion mark on Broadway alone.

Betrayal and The Glass Menagerie do well, financially and critically.

A British commentator sees Broadway's money success as a little smarmy.

Theater attendance has a usual seasonal dip.

Ken Davenport takes a long view and finds the dollars encouraging but the number of tickets sold, not so much.

And off-Broadway--hurrah!--a fun and smart show recoups, Buyer & Cellar, playing in the little Barrow Street Theater.

News Links: Presenter and Producer in PA Sued for Copyright Infringement

Don't mess with Disney!

Or the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization either.

The defendant, American Music Theatre, is no amateur group, nor is it a not-for-profit.  It operates a 1,600-seat theater offering  more than 300 performances a year.  It presents touring musicals, plays, rock and comic acts, and produces its own offerings. 

News Links: Best Paid Stagehands Briefly Strike

Carnegie Hall's stagehands are acknowledged to be the best paid in the business.  The strike was not for more pay but to force Carnegie Hall to create new union jobs.  It worked.

Broadway League and City of New York Collaborate to Promote Broadway Theater

The result is a nice piece of design.  Can't imagine it will have much effect for the City or the League. Click screendump below to go to the website.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Study Link: European Artists Happy if Often Unemployed

A study published in the journal Economic Letters, finds that although many artists are prone to high unemployment and low incomes which would suggest they have low job satisfaction, in fact, on average artists enjoy higher job satisfaction than other employees, mainly due to more autonomy,  The study looked at artists in 49 European countries.

A news report is linked here:

In our book, Theater Careers: A Realistic Guide, we analyzed data from a National Science Foundation survey of US college graduates and found similar statistics for folks with at least a BA/BS in dramatic arts.  They made less money on average than all college graduates, were more likely to be unemployed or underemployed, often worked in jobs that did not use the skills they studied in school, and yet were as satisfied with their jobs as the average of all college graduates.

Blog Link: Fifty Most Powerful People in the NFP Arts

Here's a provocative list of the 50 most powerful people in the NFP arts, compiled by Hardball Lobbying for Nonprofits: Real Advocacy for Nonprofits in the New Century.  He lists the following credentials on his blog: 
"Former Director of the California Arts Council; President of the California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies; Executive Director LINES Ballet. Author (Hardball Lobbying for Nonprofits - MacMillan & Co.; Youth Involvement in the Arts - 2 phase study for the Hewlett Foundation; Local Arts Agency Funding Study for the Aspen Institute; City Arts Toolkit), consultant, public speaker."