The Business Side of Community Theater
There they are… the sparkly costumes, you step out on stage as the audience gazes upon you with anticipation, receive thunderous applause of admiration and flowers delivered to your dressing room; your picture on posters; talent scouts from Broadway knocking at your door. It may sound like a glamorous process to start a Community Theater….right? Well for some, maybe… But glamour is not the motivation for a Member of the Board of Directors. For those who serve in an administrative role, the pleasure we gain is from knowing our actions help the organization thrive, serve the participants and our community. When we see audience members transported to a world where knights slay dragons, princesses are awoken by true love’s kiss, and everyone breaks out in song and dance, then we smile ~ knowing we silently helped behind the scenes.
The Board of Directors was initiated by a group of friends who all shared a unified vision. Each person has experience working in theater either as a Performer, Choreographer, Stage Manager, Ticket Salesperson, Theater Marketing, or Director. Before a first audition was even held the last 7 months have meant many meetings, lots of paperwork, ten thousand dollars, and hundreds of dedicated volunteer hours. Venues were inspected, graphics created, office space organized, bank accounts opened, insurance purchased, credit card processing established, search engine optimization. As a result, we are now an official Tennessee Non-Profit Corporation. During this process, people were invited to serve on the Advisory Committee. These volunteers have special skills to help further the organization and will eventually lead sub-committees. The committees include areas such as Educational Programs, Donor Services, Advertising, Auditions, Volunteer Coordinators, etc. From lengthy conversations and sharing of goals came our Mission Statement, the creation of our Vision Statement and our Goals and Objectives.
Creative Theater Group, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to entertain, enrich, and educate through high quality productions and programs which expose the community to the excitement of The Arts.
The decision of our name represented the heart of our product, our Artists. “Creative” people presenting “Creative” productions to a “Creative” community. We researched to ensure the website domains, social media pages, and trademarks were available, making sure the business name was not already in use. Once we knew, the purchases began. Over 150 domains to be exact, to include every .org, .net, and .com which included every possible name combination covering all related key words.
To enrich the community through sustainable, quality programs that inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to experience participate and appreciate the arts.
No fancy costumes or dressing room flowers yet. But interesting conversations arose. At one point our lawyer asked if he could run lights for the shows. Another person who is a number crunching Accountant asked if he could play the lead role if we ever produced “Fiddler on the Roof.” Both of these requests were unexpected, but reminded us that every adult was once a child in a school play. Maybe as Little Red Riding Hood, maybe as a Tree-in-the-Corner, or maybe sang in the school choir…but at one point in everyone’s life, a little stage fright set in, and that was saved in our DNA as an exciting experience. So why do we do it?
Our Goals & Objectives
To be recognized as a significant cultural asset to our Community
To introduce patrons to all forms of Art, Entertainment, Media, and Expression
To create or host quality Shows, Community Events, Classes, and Workshops
To encourage participation from those we serve
To provide quality education and professional training in all disciplines of Music, Dance, and Theater
To be a leader in Community Service and raising Awareness for related causes
To be fiscally responsible to Partners who invest and sponsor programs
One of the most memorable moments was when someone asked, “Why are we spelling the word “Theater” and not “Theatre” and the answer was simple, “One words cost $12, the other word $4,000!” That was the end of that discussion. While not all our gifting is in performance, we still understand the need for nonprofit organizations and how they positively impact our Community. We believe Creative Theater will thrive with both our dedication and your partnership.
For more information, please visit www.CreativeTheater.com or call (865) 888-6311
Stay tuned for upcoming Blogs which will cover more work that has taken place including: Deciding which shows to produce, Scouting Venues, Show Licensing, Graphic Design Process, Sponsors, Volunteers and other insight to the process of developing Creative Theater.
About the Author: Robert Kalina has been involved in Theater his entire life. His childhood hobby of Magic turned into a career when he opened his own 1200 seat theater at the age of 21 and became the “Youngest Nightly Headliner in America.” After three years of performing, Robert transitioned to the production side of theater developing music revue shows in Branson and Pigeon Forge. From 2006 to 2015 he was the General Manager and Show Producer for The Miracle Show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Exalt Christian Concert, Magic Beyond Belief, and The Smoky Mountain Opry Ultimate Variety Show. He currently lives in Sevierville and spends his days working for Creative Theater, spending time with his girlfriend Jennifer and her daughter; and playing in the park with his dog Lucy.