If you read your American Theatre cover to cover, you’ve undoubtedly come across one of our popular monthly columns called “Strategies.” Started in 2008, this column has flourished under the guidance of staff reporter Eliza Bent, as it uncovers issues that theatres confront and strategies that they’ve employed toward a variety of productive outcomes. This month’s entry, written by Eric Grode, deals with partnerships between theatres and social service agencies in bringing about deeper discussions about the work on stage. Many of you are aware of studies, such as those conducted by RAND for the Wallace Foundation and researcher Alan Brown of WolfBrown with Theatre Bay Area, on the intrinsic impact of theatre, as demonstrated by how deeply audiences engage with the work. One of the ways that theatres are increasing engagement is through community partnerships—which can be both complicated and gratifying.
TCG’s board was in the office this week for its May meeting. We are in the process of launching a new planning and strategy development process, of which we’ll keep you apprised. Through our biennial full membership surveys and annual phone tree conversations, we’ve gathered important feedback from the field about the biggest challenges you face and how TCG can help. During the phone tree, we focused on the following questions:
- What are the most important issues that your theatre is facing right now?
- Is the current political climate affecting your theatre in any way? If yes, how so?
- What is your theatre’s greatest need in professional/staff education? How can TCG help?
If you have any feedback, please share your thoughts in the comments field below.
One of the key themes arising out of these conversations has to do with staffing and staff development. Here’s a great “What If…?” post from Adam Thurman, director of marketing and communications at the Court Theatre in Chicago, on listening to the ideas of younger staff members. Again, if you have a burning “What If…?” question you’d like to address, please email Gus Schulenburg.